Friday, July 18, 2008
Wow! Our workshop held on July 19 2008 was extremely hot and sticky. Nevertheless the all-day seminar, back at the property of Lynn and Gary Newitt , near Port Perry Ontario was a tremendous success.
Two years ago two beautiful walls were constructed by students at the Newitt's, using tons of rounded granite boulders and smaller rocks found on their back 40. (See 2006 Port Perry Beginner's Workshop.)
This year, more walling enthusiasts learned the craft of dry stone walling by completing a curved 25 foot section of wall, using more of this interesting glacial fieldstone, which is found so plentifully in southern Ontario.
The round shape of the stones, which to the uninitiated, may seem more of a challenge to build with, actually reduce the likelyhood of unsightly vertical 'running joints' being built into a wall, which students often end up with when they are using only flatter stone material.
Below is a letter from Gary and Lynn
" Saturday, July 19th, dawned sunny, hazy and hot. Right on time John Shaw Rimmington arrived with his personable young assistant Evan Oxland and proceeded into the instructional portion of the dry stone wall seminar for our group of seven. It was amusing to watch the first-time participants as their eyes shifted between the beautiful stone wall built 2 years earlier and the piles of stone waiting to become the second half. I could see they had doubts that this 25 foot section could be completed in that day by only 2 instructors and 7 students.
But with positive encouragement and tireless assistance, in no time at all John and Evan had everyone totally involved in their task.
Lunchtime found our group hot, hungry and once again eyeing the rather modest outcome of the morning's endeavours. John reassured all that the wall would certainly be finished by 4:30 or 5:00 and so back to work we went.
What a terrific group of people we had! Despite the heat everyone pulled their weight -no complaining and always so ready to help with the hearting or with the heavier rocks.
Around 3:30 I think the group sensed that their goal was within reach. I know they must have been exhausted, but they all pressed on and then 'magically' the wall was completed!
Now came the really cool(er) part as everyone enjoyed some refreshments in the shade and admired their amazing handiwork, the look on their shining little faces was one of wonder. They admitted that they NEVER would have beleived that the wall would be completed in only 6 hours. And I think they were pretty pleased with themselves. Talk turned to the projects that they were confident they could tackle with the knowledge gained today. I knew the day was a complete success.
John I want you to know Gary and I so appreciate you returning to complete Lacey's Wall.
Again, your passion for the craft shines through and motivates others to try their hand.
Cam, Jennie, Greg, Cathy, Neil, Richard and Sean, and Evan, we appreciate the hot and gruelling day that you put in. Many thanks.
Sincerely from your "Friends-without-mortar"
Lynne and Gary Newitt "