Last week I returned to the heart of Austria's wine region, to teach a 3 day practical workshop in stone mosaics in garden design. The workshop began with students each creating their own mosaic stepping stone before all working together to create a wonderful mosaic panel featuring the symbol of the local town (Langenlois), this being grape vine tendrils. For this we used locally sourced stones that came from the river famous river Danube which flows close by the town. We al
Dry Stone Canada Stone Festival. Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada. In late September Canada’s dry stone wall association Dry Stone Canada returned to the location of their 2015 and 2018 festivals on Amherst Island, to hold their annual dry stone festival. This years festival saw a large number of projects and workshops take place, with people from many different countries in attendance including DSWAI members Sunny Wieler and Ken Curran. The Stone Foundation were also invited
In June of 2018, saw me return to Austria's main wine region for the wonderful Stein und Wein event in Langenlois, Austria. This years festival was around the theme of star gazing through glass and stone. As well as learning the craft of pebble mosaic participants were also invited to learn the craft of Dry Stone Construction and take part in the building of a corbelled dry stone structure within the famous vineyards. While the corbelled dry stone structure was being built wi
Stone related books make great presents for your stone mad friends. Here are a few stone related books I recommend checking out if you are looking for some great christmas presents. Just remember if you’re planning on ordering your books online, get ordering soon to be sure you receive them before Christmas.
Most of the links provided have free worldwide shipping. Some of the books need to be ordered from the artist’s direct but I have added these links also. The prices I hav
September was a busy month for stone festivals. First we returned to ‘The Gathering of Stones‘ site to put the final arch in place and to make plans for the final push to completion of our dry stone monument. Then with little respite the clan regrouped on Inis Oirr Island for our annual trip out to Féile na gCloch (Festival of Stone). But before I had time to absorb the fun had on Inis Oirr island, I had to rush home to repack my bag to catch my flight to another great stone
Well the stone festival season is well and truly upon us. This year I started my festival season with a trip to Austria’s largest wine-producing town, Langenlois. The wine however was just a indulgence and not my main reason for traveling here. And as much as I like a ‘dry’ white wine, it was in fact the ‘dry’ stone I was here for. But before I can reminisce about hot weather and cold wine I have to go back to The Gathering of Stones 2013 to when we met Helmut Schieder. Helmu
Last Thursday I packed my bags and pointed my car north for Donegal. I have been wanting to get to Donegal for some time but for some reason Donegal always seems so far away. But now I had a good excuse to free up some time (as if you need a good reason to go to Donegal) Turns out the trip up is not so bad at all, I even had time to stop off along the way at Loughcrew in County Meath to find the ancient stone seat known as The Hag’s Chair a massive engraved kerbstone on the n
So after a number of years of procrastination and dreaming about going to StoneFest, this year I finally made it over to Seattle to attend the event. Procrastination was of course not the only factor in making the 14,623 km round trip to the event, finances and situation also played a big factor. If it were not for Alexandra and Scott of StoneFest and the work they are doing with the ‘OnTrack‘ scholarship, dreams and procrastination would still be my only memories of StoneFes
So two weekends ago I made my annual retreat to Inis Oirr, the smallest of the three islands that make up the Arran Islands in Galway bay. Although this was only my third year attending Feile na gCloch (Festival of Stone) it feels like I have been coming here for many years. Despite the fact that I was born and raised in west Cork, arriving on the island I get an relaxed feeling of familiarity and a sense of coming home. This is the effect this island has on you. It is a worl
Miniature stoneworks may look like the real deal close up, but they are in fact far more complicated to build and also cannot withstand the same abuse as large scale stonework. In general stonework can take a lot of abuse , only really taking damage by human error when being hit by a vehicle or if poorly built. Miniature stoneworks are a lot more fragile, a dangling sleeve,a strong gust of wind or even placing a stone with too much conviction can bring the whole thing crumbl
Can tradespeople be artists?
An interesting question which is being explored by a new Irish series on TG4 at the moment called ‘Dullamullóg’ Launched last Sunday 13th January, the show follows six tradespeople who take on the challenge of creating a piece of critically acclaimed art. Each tradesperson is paired up with a professional artist who helps them with their work. The final piece is then put in amongst professional art works which are all scrutinised by art critic Cia
On the fourth weekend of September I once again headed off to Inis Oirr (Inisheer) on the Aran Islands for this year’s Feile na gCloch (Festival of Stone). The festival is organised and run by the country’s most knowledgeable and experienced drystone waller, Patrick McAfee, in conjunction with the wonderful Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer of Galway County Council and Paddy Crowe, manager of the Inis Oirr Cooperative. Every year this event seems to get bigger and bigger, as do
Last weekend the DSWAI had a meet up in County Clare as we were invited by quarry owner David O’ Connor of Liscannor Flagstones Quarries to come build some stone features at his quarry in Miltown Malbay.
Despite the long drive, I was looking forward to the trip, as it would give me the chance to take the scenic route through The Burren landscape, a stunning part of the country I have not been to in many years. The Burren is a karst-landscape region or alvar, measuring approxi
There is something very special about creating a piece of art in stone to celebrate a loved ones life. Probably the most unique and moving example of this is the recently completed Kerry Landman Memorial. The wall is situated at Island Lake Conservation Area on Hurontario Street South and is open to the public seven days a week. The Memorial Forest Trail runs through part of the conservation area and takes you through the ‘Dods and McNair Memorial Forest’ where the dry stone
On Monday a few of the members of the association met up at the foot of The Rock of Cashel to promote both the DSWA of Ireland and Fellow association member Tom Pollard’s Fly a flag for Ireland campaign, for a segment to be shown on an RTE documentary “How to be Irish” Tom’s Fly a flag for Ireland campaign is looking to put some colour, positivity and pride back in our Country. Showing our elected representatives and European neighbours that we are a proud and colourful inde
Last weekend I attended my first dry stone walling workshop on Inis Oírr Island. And I am already looking forward to going back next year. For those of you who don’t know where Inis Oírr (Inisheer) is, it is the smallest of the three islands that make up the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. As a location for a dry stone walling workshop, I could not imagine a better place, as Inis Oírr has some of the finest examples of drystone walls in the country. Altogether the Aran Islands ha