StoneFest 2013 Projects

dysert odea arch

The Village Voussoir of 2013… Carvers will have the opportunity to carve a portrait; fictional or fantastic, of self or other to echo this 12th c. Romanesque doorway from the Dysert O’Dea Castle, Co. Clare, Ireland. Contributed portraits will be placed in the Community Arch by fellow masons as a permanent installation in Marenakos “Village”.

Drystone Masonry

Levels of Experience

Dry stone project participants should review the following criteria of experience and understanding to place themselves in various levels for projects. These are rough guidelines only, Together we will find the right projects for you to participate in to get the most out of the week. 


Curriculum: Basic walling & flat work rules and theory.
Project(s): retaining walls, simple paving and stone steps
Tools: Brick hammer and trimming hammer, at a minimum


  • how to use batter frames & string lines
  • building a base, including basics on soil, drainage, climate and site prep
  • basics on stone, choosing the right stone for the job
  • basics on tools and choosing the right tools for the type of stone
  • job site and stone organization
  • pinning
  • flat work
  • safety, ergonomics & leverage and helpful hints for transporting and moving stones


Curriculum: coursed and un-coursed wall styles, with additional details including ends and capstones.
Project(s): Stylized Fence with corners and steps
Tools: brick hammers, trimming hammers & hand cutters hammers with use of carbide points, tracers and flat chisels


  • corners and cheek-ends
  • chisel & point work
  • splitting and bull set usage
  • step foundations
  • coursed vs. uncoursed wall styles
  • safe and common use of electric tools with diamond blades
  • more advanced paving styles


Curriculum: The medieval style town wall and openings
Project: What’s in your fortress? Building dry-stone, curved, thick, high walls with defensive openings and features.
Tools: As listed in Intermediate, adding a few international styles and elements of restoration and historical context.


  • How to apply medieval skills to contemporary architecture.
  • ‘On the batter and going around the bend’-establishing curved walls and various means of setting out- including using your eye.
  • Under attack? Build defensive openings for shooting arrows, firing muskets and throwing rocks and burning oil… or maybe something less volatile will suffice in 2013.
  • Build wall faces with bonding patterns that are ceremonial, reflect strength, and are unique individualized historical markers of time, people and place.
  • Building history: The technique and way you cut and surface-dress your stone will tell what century you are in, make yours noble!
  • Maintenance and repair of the European town wall today, including the increased knowledge and use of lime mortars
  • ‘Beneath your feet’-Paving from the medieval to the modern and it’s importance.

Dry Stone Projects

Various projects will occur concurrently, allowing for levels of experience, participation on projects from past years to be completed by new new participants and new challenging projects for those with more experience, or past-Fest participation that are eager for new projects and applications of dry stone masonry. What we do depends on numbers of participants- so REGISTER EARLY for best planning!

projects may include:

  • a traditional double dry stone wall.
  • coping in the Irish tradition on a retaining or freestanding wall.
  • an earthen/bank wall, sometimes referred to as a clawd wall
  • understanding various arches, styles & principals. Build rubble arches in  semi circle, segmental and Gothic style. Followed by setting out ashlar arches, making templates, cutting,and erection of Village Voussoir if time allows.


All are welcome to participate in the sculpture forum, whether for a short period, a single day or full time. For those who want to focus on carving, we do not have many tools to loan at this time, so budget for purchasing at least a few tools to get you started. To navigate these waters write Alexandra at or stop into Marenakos to make your tool purchase. Tools are also available for sale during the event.

Options for carvers:

2013 Group Carving project: The Marenakos Village Voussoir. Architectural carvers and sculptors will have the opportunity to carve a portrait; fictional or fantastic, of self or other from supplied blocks of limestone. Contributed portrait stones will be placed in the Community Arch by our fellow masons on Friday of the ’Fest as a permanent installation in Marenakos “Village”.

Nick Fairplay
will assist participants establish a portrait from the block of limestone. Nick has a wonderful technique to assist carvers in understanding form, depth and symmetry. A portrait can be realistic or fantastic, wild and animalistic. Solemn or subtle, It can be a green man or a hairy boar, totally up to you! We hope to have enough portraits to place in the arch, approximately 18.

Focus on Granite & Basalt with
Candyce Garrett  Candyce will have workshops Tuesday and Wednesday on the processes of carving granite and basalt. She will share her perspective and experience of various tools, supplies and techniques, including working with a diamond chainsaw for those who are new to that arena and want to explore it. Candyce is also known for her unique textures and inlays, which she will discuss on Day 2 of her workshops.

Independent carve
: Of Course! You can also participate and carve your own piece, a stone you plan on taking home or shipping back to your home compass point. A variety of stone is available for purchase. We will have a selection of Italian marble, limestone, sandstone, soapstone or alabaster to carve.

Jon DeCelles
and Alexandra Morosco are both sculptors who include the human figure as a common motif of their sculpture, and will assist carvers in those arenas, and all aspects of basic carving. Jon will be working as a guest carver on site, bringing a little Southwest Spirit to the North!

Keith Phillips
can assist on every level of the arch project, his specialty being architectural carving, and will be available all week.

We have 5 days together to explore working sculpturally. Less if you choose to divide your time between the trades. In this- it is recognized that you are here to learn, explore and practice. You may start an extraordinary masterpiece or you may simply come and learn by putting hammer to chisel and leave all your chips behind. There is no right answer and there is no pre-determined goal of either at StoneFest. We are here to support and share knowledge and push you a little beyond your comfort level so that you stretch a little, and learn something new. For many, this is using fewer tools not more! We are not strictly a hand carving event- but we do recommend most work is done by hand, or with pneumatic hammer and chisels. This reduces the noise, dust and dangerous elements of working in a group environment. Diamond blades and “spinny tools” can be used selectively and in designated areas. This holds true for carving granite and basalt. We will have two areas of carving in 2013- the hard stone area and the soft stone area, which will naturally solve some of the problems that can occur when carving in a geological mosh pit. Mostly- we are all together to assist you and expanding your knowledge base, digging in and hopefully finding something new!


Along our 2013 Theme of Compass Points , There is discussion of carving a Compass Rose, trying your hand at various lettering styles, and creating some project challenges for you to return home with. Check back to see what Karin and Tracy are scheming for you!

Masonry with Mortar

Participants will be working with Mike Schroeder, KMA Masonry.
Specific masonry project for 2013 are still to be determined.


Ponds, Pools and Puddles; Water is one of the distinct elements of the Northwest landscape and understanding the basics of working with “the gift” of water is necessity for any landscape professional or garden enthusiast.

Together with other talents and resources of Marenakos Rock Center, Scott will walk through the key elements of designing and building a Northwest style garden, including outcroppings, working with large stones and the basics of building water features.

This 3-day forum (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) will also include a round table of other professionals in the field who specialize in various aspects of landscape design and development such as soil and erosion control, building a rain garden, and other Rockscape fundamentals that are related to water.

Invited Guests will be posted here as our program develops…

Special Guests & Events

Architectural Forum – Wednesday, May 22, 2014

Michael Garrison, Gilbert Cass Centennial Teaching Fellow in Architecture

Graduate Advisor for Architecture and Professor at the University of Texas at Austin will lead an architectural forum with stone and sustainability being at the core of his discussion.

Architects, landscape architects & designers from the community are invited to join us free of charge for this discussion- followed by a social networking community building event after Mr. Garrisons talk. Please RSVP if you plan to attend!

Michael’s primary areas of interest include: Advanced Design, Environmental Controls, Sustainable Architecture, Passive Solar Systems, Design with Climate; Building Workshop, and Visual Communication.

Professor Michael Garrison is currently active in the design and construction of sustainable buildings. He has served as the faculty sponsor of the 2002, 2005, and 2007 Solar Decathlon competitions administered by the U.S. Department of Energy. He is currently principal investigator for a Zero Net Energy highrise tower for Shreveport, Louisiana, sponsored by Community Renewal International. Garrison’s research has received numerous grants and awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Renewable Energy Lab, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Foundation, Texas Energy Advisory Council, Texas Energy and Natural Resources Advisory Council, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and Austin Energy’s Green Building Program.

Garrison is the author of a number of publications including Passive Solar Homes for Texas (1982) and Building Envelopes , with Randall Stout (NCARB 2004). He is past chair of the Resource Management Commission for the City of Austin, a founding member of the Texas Solar Energy Society, and research fellow of the UT Center for Sustainable Development.

This architectural forum is scheduled for Wednesday at 4pm followed by a light hors d’oeuvres and a casual reception. Location: Marenakos Rock Center, Issaquah unless otherwise announced.


Thursday night- 4/23 The annual FEAST! RSVP! Meal choice and payment options on registration form, additional guests must RSVP by May 10th.