Posts tagged dummerston
Action in a Resting Place

Understandably, the present strives toward the future, but there’s nothing to say we can’t, from time to time, turn around and walk backwards into it. In that way, momentum can be maintained while gazing back, with love and affection, on those who have come before. They might appreciate it, and our steps may be lightened by the expanded outlook on our place in time.

Read More
Dry Stone Livestock Pound

This is the season of color and light. Sunbeams stream through disrobed forest canopy, illuminating leaf-confettied ground. At this time of year the great outdoors acts like a psychedelic on my mind. Bathed in the kaleidoscope colors of autumn, I believe wishes can come true. Ever since the Dummerston town pound was recreated three years ago by 44, dry stone workshop participants, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of it being used to impound some real, live farm animals.

Read More
Walling by the Decade

When I began building stone features on Richard Epstein’s property more than ten years ago he had a unformed, but long term vision of the space around his cabin. He wanted to keep the sequestered feel of being in the deep woods. He also wanted to armor the slopes surrounding his home with stone. To this end, we began by building a sunken patio to the southeast with stepped paths leading to a pond. A few years later, a raised pyramid, fire pit patio was created to the northeast. Stone steps replaced wood stairs at porch entrances.

Read More
Dry Stone Wall Workshops at The Stone Trust in Dummerston Vermont

A physically challenging and intellectually stimulating day of group, outdoor activity that’s not a competitive sport? Yes, it’s possible, and happening this spring on the bucolic grounds of Scott Farm, Dummerston, VT. The Stone Trust is offering workshops in the time-honored craft of building dry stone walls. Participants come from all walks of life to develop and sharpen their skill in creating structurally sound, “stone-only” constructions.

Read More
A Stone Turtle

When a favorite customer asked me if I would consider making an animal, any animal, out of dry stone last summer I immediately said, ‘yes’. Then the puzzling began. What animal shape could I fashion that would be recognizable, and also durable, using only dry stone techniques? It was especially important to the customer that children could climb on the completed piece. With a site in their field picked out as the location, I began thinking about possibilities.

Read More
DSWA Test Day at the Stone Trust

All seven candidates passed their respective levels of DSWA testing on Sunday, due in some measure I’m sure, to the practice many took on Friday at The Stone Trust center to prepare themselves for the rigors of taking a timed dry stone walling test. Building to a predetermined standard and having two examiners, Dave Goulder and me, looking on as work progresses aren’t the ingredients of a typical day for a waller. My admiration goes out to Brian, Peter, Curtis, Lew, Dario, Adam and Jamie for their poise under fire. Congratulations to all on work well done.

Read More
A Day of Walling in the Woods

Dry stone walling can be defined in its simplest terms as the act of placing one stone on two. But no sooner is that act completed when a much broader world view opens to the stone worker. This understanding was the basis of the one-day workshop held last Saturday in Dummerston, Vermont. Eleven participants from around New England came together to hear talks on forestland and geology, and build dry stone features alongside town hiking trails. Visiting walling instructor and DSWA Mastercraftsman Dave Goulder, from Rosehall, Scotland, joined me in taking the group on an exploration of the local cultural landscape.

Read More
A Dry Stone Foundation

Stone I harvested back in July got a work-out this week in the construction of a small foundation for a neighbor.  Even before the new woodshed was completed, its builder was contemplating the addition of a space to store yard carts. Consequently, I was asked to build a dry stone foundation off the south end of the structure. Two wood posts, anchored to the granite sill-stones, will support a beam and rafters attached to the side of the building. The mass of the stone work visually establishes the woodshed in the landscape, and its top surface functions as a rugged floor for the cart shed.

Read More
Dedication of the BMAC Sculpture Garden

During my working life I’ve shifted freely, back and forth, from artist to dry stone waller. Whatever the final outcome of any work, it’s been the making that I’ve liked the best. With ‘Rock Rest’, I enjoyed the creative process so much that I built the piece twice; once in my Dummerston stone yard and once here beside the museum. The stone was initially collected from a steep slope on a wooded property in Townshend. It lay there for twelve thousand years after being plucked from the ledges by the last ice age. In ‘Rock Rest’ I’ve attempted to simulate the natural process that turns bedrock into loose stone. I’ve always been fascinated by the way stones separate from one another but lock more tightly together as they slide apart.

Read More
Summer Shower

Having the fresh supply of stone at my disposal, from last week’s harvesting, has been like getting a blood transfusion for the imagination. I can design with select pieces in mind. I knew when I saw the 6’x7’ slab in the jumble of stone that came off the hillside in Townshend that it was destined for this project in Dummerston.

Read More
Neo Ancient Dolmens

5,000 years ago, in the land that is now Denmark, the dead were entombed in boulder chambers. Dolmens, as they are known to archaeologists, were once covered with earth mounds. Exposed by erosion and excavation, many are now visible on the landscape. I’m intrigued by these constructions. A three-boulder base supports a one-boulder roof. The simplest of forms proves to be the strongest and most durable. Dolmens, like the ones at Lindeskov, were reused over many centuries.

Read More
Wiggle Wall

This week I put in a couple days on a “subscription” wall. Every year the customer asks me to add another six yards to its length. They budget a set amount per year for stone work and I schedule it as I wish. This is the third year for this 2’x2’ construction. It follows the circuitous lawn edge at the brink of an embankment. The top line of the wall follows the undulant topography of the lawn. The longer it grows the wigglier it gets.

Read More
The Stone Trust Open House

The Stone Trust wraps up its spring season of dry stone walling activities with an open house this Sunday from 1-4 at Scott Farm. It’s been a productive first year for the organization, with a successful slate of volunteer days, workshops, DSWA tests, pre-test trainings and a two-day Instructor’s course. Anyone and everyone with an interest in preserving and advancing the art and craft of dry stone walling is invited to attend. There will be lemonade, cookies and casual conversation. Please stop by the 1862 barn to say hi, meet members of the board of directors and see what a first-class, four-season, training and testing centre looks like.

Read More
Dry Stone Walling Workshop Scheduled for October 22, 2011

Workshop scope: Learn basic dry stone walling skills under the direction of two DSWA Mastercraftsmen. Dave Goulder, from Scotland, and Dummerston resident Dan Snow. They will instruct this one day workshop in the rebuilding of an old stone fence. Building a gate-end and set of steps will also be included.

Read More
DSWA Test Day in Vermont

If you went looking for a bunch of guys building stone walls you probably wouldn’t start under an old barn, but that’s where you would have found them today in Dummerston, Vermont. The former milking parlor at Scott Farm has been transformed into a top-notch training and testing site. Eight wallers from as far north as Minnesota and as far south as North Carolina were taking their Level 1 and 2, Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain, certification tests.

Read More