StoneFest Presenters


Dry-stone walls, mortared masonry, bridges, piers, cairns or fireplaces, the basic principals are all the same. The mason tracts will both cover the importance of setting stone properly, whether dry stacked or using mortar in order for your project to endure the tests of both time and weather. Our guest masonry instructors are living treasures. Simply put: If you set stone-you need to meet them both. The opportunity to work side by side either of them is unprecedented.

Bobby Watt RJW Stonemasons, Ottawa Canada.

Traditional Walling Styles and Techniques with our celebrated heraldic Scotsman. Bobby Returns for his FIFTH annual appearance to the Northwest. Extraordinary Scottish stonemason Bobby Watt brings with him the mastery of his craft of over 35 years in the stone industry. RJW Stonemasons is based in Ontario, Canada, and is known for some of the finest building and restoration work in Canada, the US and the UK. Watt also established the Canadian Guild of Stone Restoration Masons trade school and training facility in Whitbey, Ontario, with great effort to create an environment that educates trades people in apprentice-based European traditions. Bobby has been aptly described as “A monument of a man”, which is readily seen in his craftsmanship, skill and bold presence. Anyone looking to expand their knowledge in cutting, setting, and taking on challenging architectural projects needs to meet Bobby Watt! and to experience the full repertoire of Bobby’s talents, check out

Patrick McAfee Dublin, Ireland.

Building Traditional Dry Stone Bridges and Walls Principals of building dry-stacked, garden and retaining walls are instilled. Building without mortar means your bonding practices are the absolute determinate factors of the longevity of your project. Patrick will oversee an on-site project that may include a bridge and formwork and/or dry stacked field walls. At workshops Patrick works as diligently as an Irish Border Collie- checking each participant, back and forth down the length of a wall sharing every ounce of his knowledge and patience along the way.

Patrick was initiated into the world of stone when he began apprenticing with his father 44 years ago! He worked for a number of years in Australia and also studied traditional methods of working with stone and lime mortars at the European School of Conservation at San Servolo in Venice. He now divides his time running training courses ranging from professional stonemasons to career development training for the unemployed, engineers and architects and as a restoration consultant throughout Ireland.  His courses cover dry stone walling, traditional stonemasonry, lime mortars and the repair of stone bridges. Pat will cover every stage of work, from the basics of stone and tool selection to techniques for mixing lime mortar and building circular piers. Participants will be working hands-on with his guidance building features and architectural facades that cover a gamut of masonry challenges, problems and inspirations.

Patrick McAfee is the author of the best selling book, ‘Irish Stone Walls’, O’Brien Press, 1997 also ‘Stone Buildings’ O’Brien Press, 1998, and is currently completing a book on lime mortars. For more about Patrick, please see

Praise for “Irish Stone Walls” published by O’Brien Press: ‘truly outstanding. One should not be distracted by the word Irish in a title. I’m not an art historian, but expect the principles and techniques described apply to any traditional masonry construction with English or Irish (and to some extent any European) cultural heritage. These are NOT field manuals for modern masonry construction using portland cement, steel reinforcing, assemblies and details now in widespread commercial use. Rather McAfee focuses on load bearing stone, dry laid or with lime mortar. Thorough knowledge of these “outdated” materials and techniques are of critical import in conserving and restoring old buildings. But the value of McAfee’s work is not exclusively historical. Some of the principles we admire in old stone walls and historical buildings are properly applicable to new construction. McAfee’s books will benefit any architect in using (or recognizing) traditional and “vernacular” building styles; to any mason working in stone; to anyone concerned with quality craft in masonry construction; to anyone else who appreciates historical building forms, materials and methods of construction. If bigger, Patrick McAfee’s books would qualify as “coffee table” items; they are certainly beautiful enough. For those who are interested they also appear intensely practical, whether or not one is in a position to use the methods elucidated. The author dares to posit (rarely) a few aesthetic judgements, with which a reader might disagree or might find inconsistent with local project considerations. But even these opinions are valuable to anyone who strives to understand, or judge the qualities of, historical structures. Architects, trade craftspersons, preservationists, and all others interested in traditional masonry should have IRISH STONE WALLS, along with its sibling STONE BUILDINGS, in their libraries.’ Lawrence L. Lindsey (Princeton, NJ), on

‘Pat McAfee communicates with a clarity that is based on knowledge. This book should be on the desk of every local authority architect, engineer and planner.’ Prof Loughlin Kealy, School of Architecture, UCD

‘A very satisfactory and pleasant book that provides everything most people could want to know … most useful. First-class illustration.’ Books Ireland

‘A new bible for stone workers and stone wall fanatics everywhere. inspirational. Pat McAfee is a one-man geological Faith of Our Fathers.’ Sunday Independent

‘It’s splendid. The wealth and variety of the Irish stone tradition is displayed as never before. A source of joy … written with feeling, even with passion.’ Maurice Craig

‘Great photos and line drawings and really good step-by-step stuff. For all of you who wish to preserve a time-honoured tradition, this book’s for you!’ Floral and Nursery Times, California


Acclaimed monument and memorial carvers will share words and techniques that are artfully written in stone. This extraordinary niche has application in the monument trade, architectural or detail carving and conceptually dovetails into building beautiful, personalized gardens and landscapes whether they are in a private residence or corporate setting.

Karin Sprague Rhode Island.

Karin specializes in The Art Of Remembering through creating soulful expressions hand carved in stone for memorials, headstones, celebrational prayer stones and tablets. In a corner of rural Northwestern Rhode Island the craft of hand-lettered memorials flourishes, as Karin Sprague and her small team of artists, Tracy Mahaffey and Adam Heller, create testaments of life’s fleeting nature with stone. Sprague uses mallet, chisel, slate and a whole lot of heart to artfully carve her one-of-a-kind testimonials to the abundance within life’s brevity. Visiting Karin’s website is a view into her heartfelt and genuine craftsmanship that allows for this sacred work to come forth. Witnessing the work of the Sprague Carvers illustrates the difference between mechanically machined letters and these handcrafted poetic utterances. Step back in time and visit

Peter Attila Andrusko Written in Stone Productions, Portland Oregon.

Specialist in hand cut lettering, custom fireplace surrounds, logo design and signage. Mr. Andrusko has built an impressive portfolio of works and clients across the US and Europe, including a recent project he collaborated with Maya Lin. Peter will be onsite carving and assisting those interested in exploring some of the tricks of his astute trade. His self-trained methods and ingenuity are extraordinary examples of the self made man… chiseling out exquisite quality works with a steadfast dedication to timeless quality. To view more of Andrusko’s work, please visit:

Keith Phillips Tenino, Washington

Keith has been cutting stone for over 20 years and comes to us from the architectural carving and cutting background. Keith holds some very special keys, including the ones to the Cutting Shed at the Marenakos Sandstone Quarry in Tenino where he works full time creating both residential and commercial works. Keith’s craftsmanship is steeped in quality; his fine work comes from over 20 years of experience that appears to flow effortlessly through his hands.


You will have the opportunity to witness monumental carvings being created by two of our guest sculpture instructors. Each sculptor has a unique perspective to what they share in application of their greatest passion- stone sculpture. All of these artists offer a melding of the classical with contemporary by weaving abstract and conceptual thoughts into their works.

JOHN FISHER Pietrasanta, Italy/California.

Although John is a California Native, it seems he is more Italian than anything since living and carving outside of Carrara since 1987. John’s first trip to Pietrasanta was fueled by his desire to use the highest quality marble for his creations, which he holds to with fervor. Sharing time with John is akin to breaking bread with the old masters laced with an edge of contemporary conceptualism. We see today how the contemporary sculpture scene is almost exclusively abstract; a world trend of installations, video and shock art that simply do not inspire John. He admires the haunting mystery of “Stonehenge”, the passion of Camille Claudel and the power of Michelangelo. He seeks to combine these elements into his own personal expression, drawing from life experiences such as having a child or losing a loved one.

John is most interested in combining sculpture and architecture in compositions of massive blocks, cut to fit together to form an arch, a wall or a quiet space for reflection and contemplation. You can see John’s work is in public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States. He has been featured on the National Geographic program “Zip Codes” and on the PBS’s “The Lonely Planet” segment on “Tuscany”. He has been written about in articles in “Sculpture Magazine” concerning important studios in Tuscany and the French publication, “Le Mausolée” which dealt with his amazing public carvings.

John will begin a monumental sculpture the week prior to StoneFest, and will continue to work on it through the workshop while sharing instruction time with participants. The completed piece will remain in the gardens at Marenakos until sold or travel to another Northwest venue available for purchase. To explore more on John Fisher visit:

SABAH AL- DHAHER Iraq/Seattle.

Sabah attended the Institute of Fine Arts in Basra, Iraq, his native home where he lived and received his training in classical art, graduating first in his class in 1989.  Al-Dhaher fled Iraq in 1991 due to political conditions and now lives and works in Seattle. Al-Dhaher has taught at the NWSSA symposiums and at the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. He brings his classical training to his work and his teaching which reveals both his vigor and passion for life. Sabah is currently exploring very powerful forms emerging from Columbia Black Basalt. He will be carving a large-scale work onsite throughout the event, while also assisting others who are just stepping in to the world of carving.  Visit his beautiful works at:

DAVID MILLER Eugene, Oregon.

David returns to our clan yet again with great rejoice by all, David seems to assist on all fronts of StoneFest, but particularly the stone carvers tract.  David assists beginners with a grace and generosity that effortlessly eases newcomers into the world of carving. David primarily carves with hand tools, journeying through the world of stone carving with both passion and mirth.  He has taught numerous workshops including the University of Oregon, in Eugene and various symposia presented by the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association.

ALEXANDRA MOROSCO Whidbey Island, Washington.

Has been carving stone and working professionally as a sculptor since 1991. In 2003 she relocated from California to the Puget Sound, enamored with the solace the Cascadian environment offered. The personal sculpture of Alexandra Morosco is visceral storytelling, both classical and contemporary. She also accepts small to Large scale commissions and finds commissioned work some of the most rewarding. Morosco teaches at symposiums and seminars throughout the US, where she works with professionals and novices alike sharing an abundance of knowledge of the tools of the trade. At such events she has been a featured instructor as well as a representative for one of the oldest stone carving tool manufacturers in the U.S. -Trow and Holden Co. of Barre, Vermont.

Alexandra is a co-founder of StoneFest and is the annual coordinator and director. For more detail visit:


RICHARD RHODES Rhodes Architectural Stone in Seattle,Washington
Richard will give three AIA Accredited Lectures: Stone Specification, The Sacred Rules of Freemasonry, and The Grain of Stone,Implications for Design and Fabrication. Richard’s talks are always informative visual journeys into his topics. Richard is a founding partner of Rhodes Architectural Stone and nationally recognized stone expert, artist and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in the stone industry. He began his masonry career with a formal hands-on apprenticeship in Siena, Italy. He has spent the past twenty years working on all aspects of the stone industry including quarrying, installation, fabrication, sculpture and design. His work has been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, MSNBC, and Newsweek. Richard has completed countless architectural projects that specialize in high-end residential design and build, as well as several major sculptural commissions including a permanent display at the Tacoma Art Museum, designed by Antoine Predock Architects.

Rhodes’ Stone Expression: an exploration of stone design and use is scheduled to be published in fall of 2009 as a large format hardcover book with 250 color illustrations.

Other presenters that involve stone as sculptural and landscape design elements will be invited to give presentations throughout the event, and will be listed on


A primary sponsor and supporter of StoneFest is TROW and HOLDEN COMPANY. Randy Potter travels from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to cover the details of use, application and maintenance of their hand crafted stone carving and masonry tools.