Each year for the festival, Dry Stone Canada invites international guests to participate in our build, and to share their knowledge with the walling community in Canada and the public.
We will post a schedule of talks for festival participants and opportunities for the public on site as details are confirmed. We welcome your support for our international guest travel fund here.
Here are our guests for 2018.
David F Wilson
Artist, Designer, Waller, Maker
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow and author of Creative Space: Contemporary use of stone in urban spaces
From childish playing with lego bricks to making papier-mâché landscapes for my toy armies to battle upon, I have always enjoyed the act of producing something tangible through imagination & effort.
This desire to create led onto an Art College education, eventually graduating from Duncan Of Jordanstone, Dundee, with a Masters in Public Art & Design. Inspired by local examples of a new trend for artists to work out-with the traditional gallery system I decided Art for a wider public might provide me with a career & satisfy my creative urges.
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 & fun. Fortuitously one of my first commissions was for a Local Church’s Garden wall, 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’ & my passion.
Flexibility has always been an asset when it comes to creating works in a public space, every client & every different situation requires a unique design solution & I have successfully completed a wide range of works in a variety of materials. Combining creativity with a playfulness of technique & form has always been at the heart of my process, two projects that display this aspect well are the Edinburgh Airport Interchange & 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 & 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 & craftsmanship.
Stone; it’s the most fundamental material but over the last 50 years it’s use has declined, where problems exist new opportunities open up. I aimed to discover how other creatives are exploring the space between tradition & current practice when I undertook my Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship to the USA & Canada through the summer months of 2017, an award I am incredibly proud to have received.
Falling off one of Scotland’s famous Munro’s (Ben Vorlich), breaking my leg and being rescued by helicopter has curtailed two of my favourite leisure pursuits, hillwalking & football, unwarranted further risks as a self employed artist would be foolhardy, so now I enjoy a more sedate level of exercise trying to keep up with our Miniature Schnauzer, Cooper.
Sunny Wieler from west Cork in Ireland is a skilled dry stone waller, artist and designer. He was one of the founding directors 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.
You can see more about Sunny’s work on his website www.stoneart.ie
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.
In 2009 I was a co-founder of the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland (DSWAI) and secretary from 2012 to 2016.
Find out more about what I do or look at my work check my website OR find me on facebook as EarthStone.ie
Louise Price caught the love of stone while rebuilding a cottage in 2011 using traditional methods. Curator of the Tír Chonaill Stone Festival established in 2014 and going strong, she is a founding director of DSWAI and outgoing secretary. Dry stone walling at an intermediate level, she organizes workshops and networks for women to get involved under ‘Women4Walls’.
Current director/secretary of TISWA: The Irish Stone Worker’s Alliance; she initiates stone craft projects in the community. She is author of the blog ‘limewindow’ and also an artist, working in historic illustration. Connected at home and overseas with 100% commitment to actively keeping our fast disappearing heritage alive, she is originally from Belfast now settled in Donegal, Ireland.
Brendan Stewart is an Assistant Professor of landscape architecture at the University of Guelph, and an Associate at ERA Architects in Toronto. He received his BLA from Guelph, attended Edinburgh College of Art, and received an MLA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Throughout his more than a decade of practice experience, Brendan has been actively engaged in the academic, professional, and community spheres. He has been a regular guest lecturer, critic, and instructor at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and the University of Waterloo, and was an editorial board member of Ground Magazine, the journal of the OALA. In 2015, he was involved in organizing and participating in the ‘Leading with Landscape’ conference in Toronto, hosted by the Washington DC based Cultural Landscape Foundation, which was attended by over 400 landscape practitioners and scholars from around the world. He is a director of the Friends of Allan Gardens a not for profit organization with a mission to revitalize one of Toronto’s earliest designed landscapes, and, starting in 2017, Brendan is the University of Guelph’s appointed educator to the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects governing council.
Brendan’s research focuses on heritage conservation planning and design processes, cultural landscape theory, design history, service learning and participatory design practices. He is currently working on a project called plazaPOPS recently selected as one of 5 pilot projects to receive funding through the Public Space Incubator, an initiative of Park People with the support of Ken and Eti Greenberg and the Balsam Foundation. plazaPOPS involves the creation of a ‘pop up’ public space in a strip mall parking lot in the Wexford Heights neighbourhood of Scarborough. The project, which will open in summer 2019, will engage masters of landscape architecture students at the University of Guelph, and involve a series of local community design workshops.
Nick Aitken is a shepherd’s son from the glens of Tayside in Scotland.
After years of working in offices he broke out, travelled round the world, returned to Scotland, turned a hobby into a full time job, qualified as a Master craftsman with the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain and spent 21 years working for a local authority in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
In 2017 he retired to Seattle to get away from the Scottish rain.
Stone carver, co-founder of Smith & Barber Sculpture – Atelier Inc based in Ottawa
In the early to mid-2000s, Danny trained in Applied Architectural Stonework & Conservation, Weymouth College, Weymouth, England, and stonemasory at Building Crafts College, London, England. His stone carving and conservation work includes (among others):
North-West Tower, East Block, Parliament of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
West Block, Parliament of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, Regina, Canada
Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Canada
Brock Monument, Queenston, Ontario
Victoria Memorial Museum Building, Ottawa, Canada
Royal Canadian Mint, Ottawa, Canada
Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham, England
Church of the Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton, England
Register for our two day carving workshop with Danny here.