Day 0: Rocknockers Rendezvous – Bayview Boat Club – Jan 15th-5:00 PM -10:00

Join the tribe for this members-only informal registration and reunion reception that will be held at the casual Bay View Club, hosted by long-time Stone Foundation patron, Peter Mullins. Members can collect their Registration Packets and Symposium T-shirts, catch-up with other members and meet presenters and complete last-minute registration and workshop enrollment.

 Day 1: Lectures & Symposium Key Note - De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park – Koret Auditorium – Jan. 16th - 9:30  AM 

The Stone Foundation's founder (and fearless figurehead), Tomas Lipps, and long time member Edwin Hamilton will be the highlights of the morning lecture sessions. Tomas will speak on the history of the Stone Foundation as an introduction to what will be an ongoing discussion about its future form and function. Edwin Hamilton has been building with stone as a sculptor and stonemason for 30 years. Included in his public work is the Rhododendron Pavilion at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, using stones imported from a Cistercian Monastery by William Randolph Hearst.

Lectures begin promptly at 9:30 in the Koret Auditorium at the De Young Museum  with a break for lunch at 1:00-2:30.

The afternoon session of lectures will include geologist and author of 'Stories in Stone', David Williams, who will focus on the natural and human history of stone in San Francisco's historical buildings ( The afternoon lectures will commence with the presentation of our keynote speaker Richard Rhodes. A Seattle-Washington based sculptor, stonemason, entrepreneur, and scholar of stonework worldwide, Richard Rhodes will present his thoughts on Materiality.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive at the De Young Museum early and will have the choice of having lunch at either the De Young’s Cafeteria, the neighboring Japanese Tea Gardens or the food carts outside the museum. Attendees are welcome to bring a sack lunch and explore the stonework within the Golden Gate Parks nearby areas including installations by Andy Goldsworthy, Labe Kopelov, Edwin Hamilton and others. 

A detailed map will be provided highlighting stonework in the park and of note all over the city. Dinner will not be provided - but it’s Saturday night in the city, and members are encouraged to gather together for libations and food.

Day 5: Member Presentations & Lecture at the Gualala Arts Center - Jan 2oth - 9:00 AM

Acknowledging and celebrating the work of Stone Foundation Members, especially those native to the West Coast will be the focus of Wednesday morning. Short ‘show & tell’ presentations by members will be concluded with lectures by Richard Rhodes on The Business of Stonework and Jane Wooley, the executive director of the Dry Stone Conservancy. The relaxed nature of these presentations will encourage interaction between presenters and their audience. Question and answer sessions will follow each presentation. Lunch will not be provided on Wednesday and members are encouraged to explore the Coast and Gualala area, and the progress on the Fish Rock Watch Tower. Local attractions include Gualala Point Regional Park, Schooner Gulch, and Bowling Ball Beach. Those participating in the Legacy Build Workshops are invited to stay at the Gualala Art Center and help organizers and instructors continue to set up the site and fabricate some of the larger elements of the build. Dinner will not be provided on Wednesday night, and Attendees are encouraged to gather in Gualala for a casual dinner at one of the restaurants in town.

Positive and Negative Spaces w/ John Shaw-Rimmington & Co.

Internationally renowned dry stone artist John Shaw-Rimmington has been commissioned to run a special five day hands-on dry stone workshop ‘Positive and Negative Spaces’. He will be teaching elements of creativity and 'additive stone' sculptural techniques this coming January in California. During this 5-day workshop we will construct one or two unique dry-stone sculptures at the Gualala Arts Center grounds.  These can remain as permanent ‘Legacy Build’ installations or taken down after the Stone foundation Symposium 2015.
 The workshop will focus on building structurally sound works of art in the tradition of dry-stone masonry.

     Jan 23-27, 5 Days, $500, 2 Days only $300 Registration limited to 10 people.


San Francisco City Hall

Day 4: Demonstrations & Lectures - Gualala Arts Center & Peter Mullins Stone Zone - Jan 19th - 9:00 AM.

The fourth day of the symposium will shift focus onto techniques and our individual relationships with stone. Demonstrations and lectures on cutting, splitting, trimming, shaping, carving, wire sawing, pneumatic tool use and sculpting will be ongoing at the Gualala Arts Center. Instructors and participants will begin to prepare materials for the ‘Legacy’ build projects and workshops in Gualala. Meanwhile, at Peter Mullins Stone Zone, work will be underway on the Fish Rock Watch Tower. Demonstrators will include Tomas Lipps, Jesse Salisbury, Neil Rippingale, John Fisher, Karin Sprague, Arthur Horvath, Thea Alvin, Matt Driscol, Julian Carmellino, John Shaw-Rimmington, Kyle Schlagenhauf, Patrick McAfee, Alexandra Morosco and Jordan Keyes from Trow & Holden Tool Company, and others. Some demonstrations will be participatory, and some will be more formal. A detailed listing and description of events will accompany the registration packets – there will be something to fascinate and inspire everyone, no matter what your relationship with stone.

Attendees are also invited to explore the extensive Stonework Showcase on the Mullins property, comprised of dozens of permanent installations built by Stone Foundation members in the last decade. Many of the installations have graced the pages of Stonexus Magazine.  Dinner that evening will be hosted at the Mullins property and prepared by renowned local chef Shannon Hughes. Following dinner, attendees are invited to hang out, drink a few beers from the keg, sit around the fire sharing ideas and stories with fellow members. There will be ongoing lithobolos (stone Bocce balls) tournaments in anticipation of The LithOlympics on Day 6. 

Day 6: Jan 21st - General Membership Breakfast & Annual Meeting, LithOlympics & Rocknockers BBQ

The General Membership Meeting will be held after breakfast at the Gualala Arts Center. Members will be asked to arrive at 9:00 and spend 20-30 minutes completing a brief Member Survey – feedback is vital to the Stone Foundation being a more efficient organization. Completed surveys can be exchanged for a delicious breakfast! The Stone Foundation’s Governing Council will be on hand to gather feedback from individual Members before conducting the Membership Meeting. Topics of discussion will include the Stone Foundation’s new non-profit status, it’s expanding educational Mission, our capacity as an organization and what members can do to help grow the ranks. This gathering will be a lively and engaging conversation among all as we work together as a group to make decisions and vote on the Directives of the Membership. New committees will be formed and appointments made.

Following the General Membership Meeting, attendees are all invited to participate in the LithOlympics. Testing the warrior-like hardiness and precision of the Stonemason as they compete against one another in games of agility, strength, and strategy. This years ‘Wheelbarrow Steeplechase’ course will be designed by Former Champions and promises to be the most challenging to date. The Litho Bolos and Stone Balancing events will keep those less versed in the wheelbarrow arts entertained. Prizes will be awarded to all who participate, and the winners will be rewarded with an exclusive Stone Foundation Symposium ’16 tool from Trow & Holden. Appetites created during the day of competitions will be satisfied with a fantastic afternoon BBQ hosted by the Stone Foundation’s Governing Council. Dinner will be followed by the recognition of Stone Foundation ‘Cornerstones’ and the music of Bobby Watt. 

Day 2: Private Tour of City Hall & Dinner Lectures  - Jan 17th - 9:00 AM

An exclusive private tour of the beautiful ‘earthquake proof’ stone building in the heart of San Francisco will highlight the stonework and extensive seismic retrofit and restoration. Following the tour, Attendee’s are encouraged to explore the city’s myriad examples of architectural and sculptural stonework on a self-guided tour before re-convening for a dinner lecture series. Ed Westbrook, stonemason and owner of Quarry House and co-lecturer Coburn Everdell, the president of the ICAA-Norcal (Institute of Classical Art & Architecture Northern California), will open the lectures in the evening. Canadian Stonemason Bobby Watt, will follow, speaking about the massive restoration He's running of the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa –  it is the largest masonry restoration project in North America – ever!. Dinner will begin at 6:00, lectures at 7:00 (Venue TBA). The private tour of City Hall is a free event.

Through hardship we reach for the stars

Day 7: Jan 22nd - Stonework Workshops Begin:

This Symposium will adopt a different format than previous years and will feature several workshops at the end of the event, continuing for another week up in Gualala. The workshop offerings are extensive and cover multiple disciplines within the world of stonework and art. Workshop participants will experience a small ‘community’ of their peers and instructors forming the heart of the Gualala Arts Center – with different projects being built all around them. Participants, no matter what workshop they take, will have the opportunity to observe and discuss all the other disciplines being taught during restorative lunch breaks and organized evening lectures. A primary goal of the Stone Foundation’s Symposium Workshop Series is to foster an environment of great learning and strong community. Equally important is to build amazing and enduring testaments using the skills of its members and the beauty of stone – our Legacy. There is truly something for everyone and we encourage all to participate. 

Volunteers are needed and there are a limited amount of scholarships available – if you’d like to be involved but are concerned about the cost, get in touch with Symposium Organizers.

The Fish Rock Tower Project             Gualala, CA 2014-2016

San Francisco & Gualala CA - January 2016
The Stone Foundation’s 2016 Stonework Symposium will be a dual-venue event in coastal Northern California, starting in San Francisco and continuing  ~100 miles north in Gualala, on the Mendocino Coast.

The focus of the Program while in San Francisco will be on the Theory of Stonework in the public realm with an emphasis on Design & Appreciation. Attendees will then travel north on California’s Highway 1 to Gualala where the focus of the Program will be the Practical Application of Techniques  - new and old - with an emphasis on Building & Community. The Symposium events, workshops, demonstrations and certifications will be hosted by Peter Mullins and The Gualala Arts Center.

 NOTE: Symposium attendees are invited to a presentation  on the work of renowned mural artist Millard Sheets at  the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in San Francisco on  Thursday, Jan. 14. More Information here

*All workshop registration fees include morning coffee, snacks & a hearty catered lunch. (Discounted group dinners may be available also, depending on participant interest). Essential safety equipment will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring hearing & eye protection.

** Workshop pricing in based on a current ‘Apprentice’ level membership (or higher) in the Stone Foundation. 

Not a member yet? Sign up today and start benefitting!

*** Workshop details are subject to change, depending on weather and factors outside of the SF’s control. In the unlikely event of cancelations, 100% refunds will be given.

Parliment Building, Ottawa Canada


Multi-discipline artist and Atlanta native, Kevin Carmen will lead students down a path of exploration and creativity - with the end goal of creating a permanent mosaic installation at the Gualala Arts Center, either as paving or a plinth to support the sculpture completed by friend and fellow Workshop Instructor, John Fisher. Pebble mosaics are pieces of functional art with an uncommon ability to both reflect and echo their surroundings while also defining and amplifying them. Participants will help install a large, collaborative artwork, another contribution to the Stone Foundation’s “Legacy Build’ project within the Arts Center. Appropriate for all skills levels and abilities, Kevin’s aim is to engage with participants and gently guide them through the process.(

       Jan 23-27, 5 Days, $600Registration limited to 8 people.



Andy Who? An interactive one-day hands-on workshop (or week) led by international dry stone artist, where participants have fun exploring all the structural and artistic elements of building with stones without fasteners, glue, mortar or rules. Using a variety of stones of all sizes students will do a minimum of shaping to create a unique temporary (and permanent) structures to delight the soul and refresh imagination. The emphasis will be on combining elements of craftsmanship, spontaneity, and improvisation. This is thinking outside the gabion cage. The instructors will be there to share techniques and help unleash the inner conceptual 'land artist' in all of us. A day of balancing, stacking, visualizing, sharing photography, and getting to know the stones (and each other). Move over Andy G.

​       Jan. 22, 1 Day, $150Registration limited to 10 people.

Day 3: Geological Tour of the West Coast & Dinner Lecture - Jan. 18th - 9:00 AM

Symposium participants will enjoy a beautiful & fascinating journey as a group or individually as they take a leisurely trip North to Mendocino County and Gualala via The Panoramic Highway and California’s scenic Hwy 1. The geological tour will be self-guided with several rendezvous along the way. The tour stops in several locations along the route to examine and explore different Geological features unique to the San Andreas Fault line. Travelers can choose to meet for lunch or make their way up the coast at their pace. *Symposium organizers will work to coordinate ride sharing among members – those interested should indicate so on their registration form.

The tour will conclude in the small picturesque coastal town of Gualala, CA. That evening, attendees will gather for a group dinner at the Gualala Arts Center, our host for the Symposium and workshops and the site of the Legacy Build Project. ( In conjunction with dinner lime mortar expert, Patrick McAfee, and lead stonemason Kyle Schlagenhauf will bring members up to speed on the Fish Rock Watch Tower being constructed using hot lime mortar and traditional construction techniques. The lecture will prepare listeners for the demonstration they will experience the following day at Peter Mullins Stone Zone.

Just one on the stunning sites to visit in San Francisco, The Wave Organ was built by George Gonzalez and Tomas Lipps, the Stone Foundation Founder, Fearless Figurehead and editor of STONEXUS magazine.  


California native and master sculptor John Fisher will share his Profile Carving technique, perfected during John’s 20-year stint in Carrera, Italy. John will now be sharing it with Symposium attendees: with students and spectators alike as he begins an on-site carving for the Gualala Arts Center that he will complete in the days during his workshop. Students will be supplied with carving stone, pneumatic and hand tools and work alongside John, with his expert guidance, as they carve their works of art in a learning-focused workshop setting. Appropriate for skills levels from complete novice to the accomplished sculptor, the Profile Carving technique is a game-changing approach to the process.(

       Jan 22-28, 7 Days, $850Registration limited to 10 people and includes ‘loaner’ tools for participants without their own.



For those interested in dry stone walling please see Positive and Negative Spaces workshop below 
Participants in this 7-day workshop will be building a permanent structure as part of the Stone Foundation's ‘Legacy Project’ at the Gualala Arts Center in their public Redwood Grove. Master Walling Instructor Neil Rippingale, of the Dry Stone Conservancy, will lead students in the building of a beautiful 80’ L x 3’ H retaining wall. The designed wall will include solid capstones, large boulders & slab steps and will test the abilities of competent structural builders as well as inspire creativity. See preliminary plans here: Redwood Grove Wall Designs. Instruction and testing for ‘LEVEL 1’ certification by the DSC, will be offered to all participants, but is not required. Along with freestanding and retaining structures, students will learn stone cutting techniques, rigging, plan reading and more. Led by Dry Stone Conservancy instructor Neil Rippingale with assistance from DSC waller Michael Murphy. (

        Jan 22-28, 7 Days, $ 700Registration limited to 12 people. *Those interested in only taking their certification test should contact              Symposium organizers.



This unique, lower-cost 5 day workshop will be taught by a mixture of Stone Foundation members and facilitated by tool manufacturer Trow & Holden. Workshop participants will help produce elements needed for the Legacy Wall Project Wall and will incorporate best-practices for both hand and pneumatic tool use, splitting techniques, fabrication with a wire saw and rigging/placement. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn or practice their letter carving and help produce the statuary plinths to be used in the Redwood Grove to display art. The purpose of this workshop is to aid the wall build and allow Stone Foundation members and members of the community to be involved with the project without requiring a major commitment, financially or to one particular discipline of stonework. This workshop will be one of the most exciting and teach the widest range of material. Any participant in this workshop will also be free to ‘float’ among other workshops if they would like to learn more about any particular thing. 

       January 22-28 - ANY 5 Days, $350 or $125/any one dayUnlimited Registration.