The weekend of Jan 15th-16th was an important occasion for dry stone walling in Canada. The two day course at Landscape, Ontario set something of an historical precedence. This is perhaps the first time a dry stone wall course has been given completely indoors in Canada, teaching students the method of building not just one, but two different types of wall. It is also a safe bet that these are the the first dry stone walls constructed this year in Canada (as most of us above the 49th parallel are in the grips of cold winter temperatures). This represents another significant step towards dry stone walling being recognised as an important alternative to different forms of man made fencing, garden hardscaping and terracing.
The interest that these courses have generated confirms our suspicion that people want to know how to work with natural stone themselves. They want to build with material that doesn't just look natural but is the real thing. Here are some shots of the walls DSWAC students built with the help of instructors John Shaw-Rimmington and Dean McCellan. One wall is constructed of mostly gabion limestone and the other of larger pieces of mica schist. Thanks to Landscape Ontario for providing the space for these courses and Eisen's Natural Stone for providing the stone.
We would be interested in knowing if people would like us to do more of these winter indoor courses in the future. Please write to the DSWAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.