European Stone Stacking Championships 2018

The other day I found a box of beautiful stones I’d taken off the beach 20 years ago. I decided to finally let them go, so left them them outside at the foot of a tree in the field by the house. Just a few days later quite by chance I found myself joining in at a stone stacking championships at the beach in Dunbar. I’d occasionally liked to create Andy Goldsworthy style pieces with stones but never put much thought into it. Watching the competitors on the first day make some amazing artworks, I thought what the hell! It looks too much like fun and I saw that there were several other total novices that were having a go. So the next day I found myself along with about 25 others, trying to see how many stones I could stack in 20 minutes. As soon as I started I realised it’s totally addictive. I had our dog with me so couldn’t join in the 2 hour artistic creation part but come hell or high water I will have a go next year.

It was all very low key, just in it’s third year and organised by one James Craig Page, a Dunbar artist and stone stacker himself. Check out the event website… The overall winner Pedro Duran, who also won last year and wins a flight to the world championships in Texas. It seemed all the winners are old friends but it was good to see some locals also get placed. Very inspired by John Earnshaw who drove up from Lancashire to compete despite being a total novice. He, like me, just wanted to have a go. I loved that it was such a friendly event. The artworks seemed to invite folk to chat with strangers around them and I met so many nice people.

It’s not very widely advertised and it needs proper publicity so I hope this might encourage a few more folk to come along next year. Now I’m just heading out to find my pile of beautiful stones and take them back in the house. Got to get practicing!

Dunbar Beach on the European stone stacking championships 2018

Dunbar Beach

winners of the european stone stacking championships 2018 Dunbar beach

some of the winners from 2018; SP Ranza, Pedro Durán, Rocío Agar Marco and James Brunt

James Craig Page with the judges, admiring Rocia Agar's work 2018

Host James Craig Page with the judges, admiring Rocia Agar’s work

Jonathon Kitching, down from Aboyne to compete

Novice stone stacker John Earnshaw up from Lancashire

John Earnshaw stone stacking

first time novice John Earnshaw’s spiral

SP Ranza - most stones stacked.

winner of the most stones stacked (29) by SP Ranza

James Brunt stone stacking

James Brunt’s impressive stack of 28

most stones stacked at European stone stacking championships 2018

My own, most stones stacked effort. 24 stones but the top two blew off!

James Brunt

Marco Monesini stone stacking

Part of Marco Monesini’s work

stone stacking at Dunbar beach

by Neil Andrews, another competitor from Lancashire

Pedro Duran stone stacking

Part of Pedro Duran’s winning work

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18 Comments

  1. Lovely pictures! Your next to last uncredited black and white photo is of the work by Neil Andrews, also a Lancashire based novice.

  2. Laurence
    Fabulous photos of a great weekend.
    I’d love to get a copy of the photo of my stack – is that possible?
    Neil Andrews

  3. ‘It seemed all the winners are old friends…’ 😀 It’s very nice to read what you see when you look at us from outside! Actually, we all met for the first time either this weekend or last year!! 😀 But it feels indeed like if we were old friends, we are in fact a ‘friends family’ 🙂

  4. Some words from Wendy & John, Lancashire. Thanks for the exceptional images and the blog Lawrence, much appreciated:

    No Glue (A poem by Wendy Davison)

    The hands, the hands
    It’s the hands I notice
    Some small and fine
    Others large and lined
    But all have that sensitivity
    Feeling, observing, adjusting
    Yielding to some gravitational alchemy
    Stone on stone and stone on stone
    Impermanent, impossible, impressive
    The gulls cry
    A two-tone sky whistle overhead
    Limpets stand fast,
    Locked shoulder to shoulder
    More permanent than those impermanent creations
    People look-on, generating a hum of wonder, beyond a barrier of air
    Frantic gathering of mineral matter
    The right size, the right shape, the right colour
    A voice drifts into our consciousness……………………..5 minutes to go
    Thy will be done

    • It was lovely to meet you both and I’m looking forward to seeing you next year. I Love your poem! It’s caught the tension perfectly. It’s funny you should send it as I nearly posted part of Robert Frost’s, Wall Mending beneath the black and white shot of James Brunt as the mood of the shot put me in mind of the last part….

      …I see him there
      Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
      In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

      It’s a slightly demeaning line so I didn’t add it but it was brought to mind.

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