Local Dry Stone Festival

By Willa Wick in Places, Events, & History

They’re a nuisance to farmers as they clear their fields, but painters and photographers love them in their pictures. To some of the rest of the work force stone is a very valuable building commodity.
The dry laid method of stone construction, while an ancient craft, has seen a revival in application. Hands-on structure without mortar has always been done in Europe but in Canada has fallen to the wayside in favor of more high tech methods with machinery, faux-stone and mortar binding.
A unique event to showcase this age old tradition will be a Stonewurx International Dry Stack Stone Festival – and it’s practically in our own back yard. The public is invited to watch students under the leadership of local professional builders, as well as a few of the world’s best master craftsmen from Britain,who will share their skills and knowledge.
Close to home, outside Hanover, this three day festival weekend at the end of September will feature free admission to a park of indoor and outdoor artisan vendors on the site of a local nursery and landscape centre.
Before your eyes, from an exclusive outside classroom, will rise a rare, one-of-a-kind stone stable complete with green roof …and no mortar to hold it together. Sound a little far-fetched? Well actually it is. Too much preparation work has to be done in advance so it won’t actually rise before your eyes. Stone was collected and ‘dressed’ this past spring. Craftsmen from Great Britain visited to assist and instruct the first group of students as the build began. Throughout the summer small groups of wallers have been occasionally adding to the structure.
During the few days prior to the Festival more of the world’s best master craftsmen will arrive and continue the build. The Wednesday and Thursday have been set aside as student days where secondary and post secondary students can enroll in a course to learn from, and work with, these masters of the dry stone trade.
For further details to entice you to attend this community festival check out www.stonewurx.ca. Enroll as a learner, or at the very least mark your calendar and plan to visit the on-site activities and entertainment tent during the weekend of September 28th – 30th. Public seminars, live music, food, children’s activities, Ribfest and dance are all taking place in addition to the stone “build” at Ground Effects Landscapes, #341411 Conc 2, Hanover.

The progress of the Stable  in early August (note the amount of stone which must be available

The progress of the Stable in early August (note the amount of stone which must be available