International + Special Guests
Every festival we invite special guests to build connections in the walling community, develop skills, share knowledge and experience among wallers, and to enhance the public experience.
We will post a schedule of talks for festival participants and opportunities for the public on site as details are confirmed.
Some of our guests (so far) will be:
Norman Haddow: Scottish master craftsman (DSWA) www.facebook.com/wallsaroundtheworld/
Members of Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland (DSWAI)
David F. Wilson
Artist, Designer, Waller, Maker
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow and author of Creative Space: Contemporary Use of Stone in Urban Spaces.
I have always enjoyed the act of producing something tangible through imagination and effort. This desire to create led onto an Art College education, eventually gaining a Masters in Public Art & Design.
Whilst on holiday in Turkey I stumbled upon a series of stone walls that were unlike anything I had ever seen in the UK. The coursing followed no obvious traditional rules. I fell in love with them, they spoke to me of creativity and fun. One of my first commissions was for a Local Church’s Garden wall soon after, and little did I know when I made that design decision to do something similar to those walls in Turkey, that stone as a material would become at once my ‘stock-in-trade’ and my passion.
Combining creativity with a playfulness of technique and form has always been at the heart of my process. Two projects that display this aspect well are the Edinburgh Airport Interchange and Livingston Landmarks, the latter being awarded the coveted Pinnacle Award from the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain.
Opportunities have come and gone; there’s been ups and downs but my enthusiasm for the work has never diminished and with every new challenge comes renewed determination to produce work that will enhance our shared spaces; created with the hope that others see that I strive for the highest standards of artistic integrity and craftsmanship.
I was a disenchanted artist/painter drifting around Europe when—in 1970— a friend invited me to visit his village in the south of France. Restoring the ruin of a stone farmhouse that he owned there was my introduction to stonemasonry, my conversion from artist to artisan, from two-dimensional painter to three-dimensional stoneworker (retaining, however, my sensibility re composition, something very important to a stonemason).
Since then I have continued on what I call the “old stone road,” doing sound, creative stonework and—guided by a growing obsession with the craft and its traditions—organizing workshops in stone walling and stonemasonry. In 2000 I organized the first Stonework Symposium at which a membership organization, the Stone Foundation was established. Since then there have been sixteen more annual gatherings held and seventeen issues of a well regarded print publication STONEXUS Magazine produced (as well as seventeen editions of digital publication—the STONEZINE).
The Stonework Symposiums are remarkable events, valued for the presentations, workshops, camaraderie, discourse, games and communal stonework projects. Dry Stone Canada’s Festivals are similar in those respects and I very much look forward to participating in this one in September.
Dry Stone Waller and Master Craftsman (DSWA)
Norman is a Scottish master craftsman who became a waller after many years as a microbiologist in the food and oil industries. His facebook page features work by him and many others! www.facebook.com/wallsaroundtheworld/.
Norman builds dry stone walls mainly in Scotland but also around the world. Walling is a pleasure as is meeting all types of people; a small dedicated community of folk who love doing all they can to preserve the amazing tradition and explore new methods.
Anthropologist/Archaeologist, Dry Stone Waller, and Stonemason
Over the past 10 years in stone I have tried to grow my skillset and establish myself as a traditional and creative stonecraft practitioner. I now specialise in Dry Stone building and old stone buildings advice and conservation, with particular emphasis on historic structures and repair of same using traditional techniques and mortars.
I absolutely love dry stone and it is my passion and obsession. I also dabble in carving relief and letters as well as some sculpture. Experience in Archaeology continues to be a real asset when applied to conservation stonework I find that the two areas overlap strongly.
Sunny Wieler from west Cork in Ireland is a skilled dry stone waller, artist and designer. He is a long time member of the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland and for five years its Chairman.
Having worked with stone for over 15 years, Sunny has had the opportunity to create unique and artistic installations that reflect his passions for dry stone and that get people excited about Ireland’s most ancient craft.
Over the years Sunny has travelled to various countries around the world to exchange skills and ideas with like-minded individuals and organisations passionate about stone.
He has been involved as both an instructor and organizer of a number of stone events in Ireland as well as being invited as guest speaker and instructor for a number of festivals and events internationally.
Ottawa based Stone carver, co-founder of Smith & Barber - Sculpture Atelier Inc. and founder of the Canadian Stone Carving Festival.
I started working with stone at my family’s monument business as a boy. After learning all the aspects of the job through my teens and twenties I decided to look further for a creative outlet in the medium of stone.
In 2002 I moved to England and enrolled in an architectural stone carving and conservation course at Weymouth College. After completing the Higher National Certificate program I was hired at Centreline Architectural Sculpture in Gloucestershire. Over the following 3 years I had the opportunity to create carvings for many notable buildings including Woodchester Mansion and Birmingham Town Hall.
In 2006 it was time to move back to Canada. I reached out to Bobby Watt in Ottawa and was hired as shop foreman at RJW Stonemasons and I stayed there for 5 years. The two most notable projects for me during this time were the rehabilitation of Rideau Hall’s Mappin Wing and the South East Tower of the West Block on Parliament Hill.
In 2010 I started the Canadian Stone Carving Festival. My vision was to create an event that would build a craft fellowship, raise public awareness and support charity. I am proud to say that from 2010-2019 we have raised over $75,000.00 for various charities.
In 2012 I co-founded Smith & Barber – Sculpture Atelier Inc. with my friend John – Philippe Smith. We put together a crew of highly skilled carvers and were sub-contracted by RJW Stonemasons to provide all the replacement stones for the the rehabilitation of the entire West Block on Parliament Hill. This was an incredible learning experience and opportunity to do some amazing work.
In 2018 I created Barber – Carving & Sculpture Inc. so that I could focus on my own personal development in the art and craft of stone carving. I enjoy taking on custom commissions and especially appreciate the interest people have shown in the courses that I offer at my studio.