July 14th 2017 Site Prep Workshop at Eureka Rd. (Springfield VT)

Workshop Level: 1. Up to 16 participants with Certified Instructors Michael Murphy and Jamie Masefield. Open to everyone. $200. 

Friday July 14, 2017

The Stone Trust is excited to announce a new set of workshops in Springfield VT.  With our Dummerston, VT facility at capacity, and more demand than we can handle, this is a fantastic new site to learn dry stone walling.  Learn the art and craft of Dry Stone Walling on Historic Vermont Field Walls.

Click Here to Register Now

The Site and Stone:

Set on a 200 acre property of field and forest, this is a fantastic location to learn the craft of dry stone walling.  The property includes active farm fields, actively managed forestland, trails, a beaver pond and wetland, and even a waterfall.  There are fantastic views in nearly every direction.  A truly beautiful Vermont landscape.  Actively farmed for over 200 years this property is near the heart of the historic village of Eureka (now gone), which was the first village within the town of Springfield.  The site features 1000’s of feet of historic dry stone wall that will begin to be repaired in workshops.

The stone used for the walls is what was gathered right out of the fields.  It is a mixture of the local metamorphic ledge along other types brought in by the glaciers long ago.  There is a nice mix of shapes from round to irregular with occasional flat ones as well.  It is very typical of the stone found throughout much of New England.  This workshop will be based in the real world.  How to work with the stone you have in the best way possible is a primary focus.

Eureka Rd Workshop Site
Eureka Rd Workshop Site
Image from the workshop site
Image from the workshop site
Workshop rebuilding old field wall in Vermont
Workshop rebuilding old field wall in Vermont

Workshop Format:

This  is a site preparation workshop that is intended to be paired with the dry stone wall building workshop happening on the following two days.  This workshop can also be taken independently of the weekend wall building workshop.

The workshop will run from 8:30 – 4:30, with a break for lunch at noon.  The instructors will use a variety of visual teaching aids, discussion, and hands-on demonstrations.

In this workshop participants will learn the needed site preparation for building a wall.  Participants will be lead through discussions of sourcing and selection of stone to use, and preparing the foundation.  For the better part of the day, participants will be learn from and work along side the instructors setting up batter frames and sorting stone for building.

Knowing how to efficiently build sturdy batter frames and understanding how to use string lines are two of the trickiest aspects for many dry stone wallers.  This will be discussed in detail.  There will likely be some very large stones to deal with and methods of moving them and braking them down will be shown and used.  Some other shaping will also likely be demonstrated and taught to facilitate making the best use of the material.

Workshop Levels:

This is a Level 1 workshop.  It is suitable for everyone and no experience is required.  There are no prerequisites for this workshop.  Those who have previous experience will be challenged with harder tasks.  Even experienced wallers can learn a tremendous amount from this workshop.

Click Here to Register Now
Dry Stone wall being finished by workshop participants
Workshop participants finishing up

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Check out the corresponding Saturday-Sunday Dry Stone Walling workshop.  July 15 and 16.

Sign up for both to get 3 days of amazing dry stone wall education!

laces-vertical-yellowLicensed Landscape Architects can receive 7.5 LA CES credit hours for attending the site prep workshop day and and 15 credit hours for the two day walling workshop.  Take both for 22.5 credit hours, almost 2 years worth in 3 days!   These workshops make a great break from the office and you will come away with an incredible knowledge base about dry stone walls that can be applied directly to your projects!

Learning objectives for this workshop:

  • How to assess an old field wall for rebuilding methods
  • How to set up a site for efficient dry stone walling
  • How to build and set up batter frames and string lines
  • How to prepare a sturdy foundation for dry stone walls
  • How to efficiently sort and lay out stone to speed up the building process
  • How to do some basic shaping of stones
Beautiful Vermont Farm Land at the Workshop Site
Beautiful Vermont Farm Land at the Workshop Site

About The Instructors:

MICHAEL MURPHY owns and operates The Nature of Stone in Elberta, Michigan.   Michael is a DSWA-GB certified Intermediate waller (Level II), and is also a Certified instructor.  Michael has a love for the craft of dry stone walling that is palpable in every workshop he teaches.  The joy of walling is thoroughly shared and after taking a workshop with Michael you will be back for more!

No photos

Jamie Masefield is a DSWA-GB Certified Intermediate (level II) waller. He lives in Monkton Vermont and has been dedicated to dry stone masonry for over a decade. He enjoys creating structures and spaces that compliment and blend with their surroundings. He has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography from The University of Vermont and has traveled extensively.


Other Workshops of Interest:

    2016 March Contractors Workshop group picture
    Contractors Workshop: One Day Indoor
    Friday, March 31, 2017

    This workshop is perfect for the landscape contractor interested in starting to build dry stone walls, or expand that line of work. In addition to the hands on building of a wall, there will be discussions of good work practices, pricing walls, proper foundations, etc. Level 1 for beginners, and Level 2 for experienced wallers.


    Level 1 dry stone wall workshop group photo
    Introductory Workshop: One Day Indoor
    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    This workshop is perfect for the homeowner or enthusiast looking to start learning about how to build dry stone walls. If you are looking to learn more before starting to build a wall at home or trying to educate yourself before hiring someone else to build a wall. This is the workshop for you. It is great introduction for landscapers who are looking to get into dry stone walling. Over the course of the day each participant will build about 25 sq. ft. of wall (one side), using natural round fieldstone. Participants will learn all the basic rules of structural walling that can be applied to any type of stone and project.


    Dry Stone Retaining Wall Course
    Retaining Wall Workshop: One Day Outdoor
    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    Here in the North East, many of the walls people are building are retaining walls. While all the principals of a free standing wall apply there are additional rules and methods to follow when building retaining walls. The focus needs to be on a sound structure that will last for generations. The stone may be round field stone or flatter ledge stone. The rules and principals learned here can be applied to all retaining walls whether hand-built or built with large stones and equipment.


    Stone Shaping Course 2016 group photo at The Stone Trust
    Stone Shaping Workshop: One Day Outdoor
    Sunday, April 9, 2017

    This workshop will spend the day learning about how to shape stones for use in dry stone walls. Participants will be introduced to a variety of stone types, and how to work with them. Both hand and power tools will be demonstrated and used. The stone shaping will focus on efficient practices, learning how to look at a stone and judge how to shape it, as well as proper use and care of tools. Stone types worked will likely include, granite, slate, local quarried schist, gneiss ‘field stone’ and more. Participants are encouraged to bring samples of their local stone to practice shaping, as well as any tools they would like to learn how to better use.


    Indoor Dry Stone Wall Workshop at The Stone Trust
    Introductory Workshop: One Day Indoor
    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    This workshop is perfect for the homeowner or enthusiast looking to start learning about how to build dry stone walls. If you are looking to learn more before starting to build a wall at home or trying to educate yourself before hiring someone else to build a wall. This is the workshop for you. It is great introduction for landscapers who are looking to get into dry stone walling. Over the course of the day each participant will build about 25 sq. ft. of wall (one side), using natural round fieldstone. Participants will learn all the basic rules of structural walling that can be applied to any type of stone and project.


    two day level 1 - 9
    Introductory Workshop: One Day Outdoor
    Saturday, May 6, 2017

    This workshop is perfect for the homeowner or enthusiast looking to start learning about how to build dry stone walls. If you are looking to learn more before starting to build a wall at home or trying to educate yourself before hiring someone else to build a wall. This is the workshop for you. It is great introduction for landscapers who are looking to get into dry stone walling.

    Over the course of the day each participant will build about 25 sq. ft. of wall (one side), using flat ledge stone. Participants will learn all the basic rules of structural walling that can be applied to any type of stone and project. The different type of stone used is the primary difference between this workshop and the indoor introductory workshops.


    Women's dry stack stone wall workshop
    Women’s Introductory Workshop: One Day Indoor
    Saturday, May 6th, 2017

    A chance to learn from the women in North America who are DSWA Certifed Instructors! At The Stone Trust, all of our women’s only workshops are taught by women wallers. This workshop will have the only 3 women in North America who are certified dry stone wall instructors teaching!

    This workshop is an excellent introduction to dry stone walling for the homeowner, landscaper/gardener, or hobbyist. Over the course of the day each participant will build about 25 sq ft of wall (one side), using natural round fieldstone. You will learn all the basic rules of structural walling that can be applied to any type of stone and project.


    Women's dry stack stone wall workshop
    Women’s Level 2 Retaining Wall Workshop: One Day Outdoor
    Sunday, May 7th, 2017

    This workshop will have the only 3 women in North America who are certified dry stone wall instructors teaching! This workshop is intended as a follow up to the level 1 workshop the day before. The curriculum is still being written, but the aim is to delve into topics that there was not time for at a Level 1 workshop. Stay tuned for more details!


    Wallers learning to use batter frames and string lines for building dry stone walls, dry stack walls, and dry laid walls.
    Batter Frames and String Lines: One Day Indoor
    Sunday, May 7th, 2017

    This workshop will spend the day learning about how to shape stones for use in dry stone walls. Participants will be introduced to a variety of stone types, and how to work with them. Both hand and power tools will be demonstrated and used. The stone shaping will focus on efficient practices, learning how to look at a stone and judge how to shape it, as well as proper use and care of tools. Stone types worked will likely include, granite, slate, local quarried schist, gneiss ‘field stone’ and more. Participants are encouraged to bring samples of their local stone to practice shaping, as well as any tools they would like to learn how to better use.


    Seth Harris instructing the 2016 Test Prep workshop
    Spring 2017 Test Preparation Workshop: One Day Indoor
    Friday, May 19, 2017

    Prepare for your certification test! This workshop is perfect those planning to test on Monday. Learn tips and techniques to help you pass your test, all while practicing on the stone walls used for the tests. A must-take workshop for those planning to go for the difficult Level 2 test. Take this workshop and receive a discount on a Saturday or Sunday Pre-test, before testing on Monday.

    Seth Harris is a Level 2 certified waller and certified instructor. He has been a test site coordinator at The Stone Trust on several occasions and is well versed in what it takes to pass a test. There is nothing better than a day of tips from the pros! In addition to dry stone walling Seth is also an accomplished fine woodworker, blacksmith, excavator and more. He is the owner of Foxchair Mountain Craftsmen in Springfield VT.