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Originally Published On:

July 25, 2017

Originally Published By:

Haliburton Echo

C to C, Unity Gate, Spiral Ascent and the Sam Slick Park Bridge

Written By:

Angus Sullivan

Works include C to C, Unity Gate, Spiral Ascent and the Sam Slick Park Bridge were created by John Shaw-Rimmington.

You may have noticed what looked like a construction site last week in Sam Slick Park, across the road from the high school. Stones were strewn about the ground, and a team was working furiously stacking and moving these stones on top of a curved wooden structure. This was the Haliburton School of Art + Design’s Dry Stone Structure course led by John Shaw-Rimmington.

John has taught a Dry Stone Structure course at the college for many years. Students come from all over North America to work and learn from John. This year’s group spent a week in Haliburton, creating a stone bridge which now spans the stream that flows through Sam Slick Park into Head Lake.

Dry stone is an ancient building technique used to create stone structures without any mortar. Bridges and arches can be created by placing stones on a rounded wooden form, putting a keystone at the top of the arch, and then removing the support. The force of the rocks pushing into the keystone keeps all of the rocks in place.

Over the years, John has worked with his students to produce three sculptures in the Haliburton Sculpture Forest; C to C, Unity Gate, and Spiral Ascent. Each year John introduces different methods, but you can see similar elements in the bridge and the sculptures. Structures are made using stones standing on edge, Spiral Ascent, Unity Gate and the bridge have arches held in place by keystones, and all are made from local granite. These structures are beautiful and surprisingly solid. To see more of John Shaw Rimmington’s work, visit the Haliburton Sculpture Forest or John’s blog

The Haliburton Sculpture Forest is located in Glebe Park on 297 College Drive. It is open dawn to dusk with free guided tours in July and August on Tuesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am, and on Wednesdays at 12:10 – 12:50pm. Meet at the information kiosk next to the parking lot at Fleming College. You can use the Sculpture Forest app (download PocketSights and search for Haliburton) or visit to learn more about the sculptures.

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