1.11 Women’s Introductory Workshop Overview:
Learn the fundamentals of building a structurally sound dry stone wall in a single day from one of the five women in North America qualified to teach dry stone walling. Here is your gateway into dry stone walling, a traditionally male-dominated field. Whether you are trying the craft on for size, you are engaging in your own walling projects, or you intend to pursue the trade as a professional waller, you will find a safe, supportive, understanding learning environment where you engage with women who know what it means to do the work and apply the trade.
To provide a firm grounding in the basic principles of dry stone walling and a basic understanding of how to build a double-faced wall.
- You can state the five basic rules of dry stone walling.
- You can describe batter and the use of frames & lines.
- You can explain how to manage materials and your workspace.
- You can list safe working practices.
So you want to start learning about how to build dry stone walls. Or you’ve taught yourself a bit and want to check your understanding with professional guidance. Maybe you plan to build walls at home or maybe you want to educate yourself before hiring someone else to build a wall. Perhaps you are considering entering the trade or adding dry stonework to the portfolio of services you already provide as a landscape or hardscape contractor. Whatever your motivation and experience, an introductory workshop is the starting point for you, a prerequisite for almost all other Stone Trust workshops.
As with most Stone Trust workshops, you will start with a freestanding wall like those traditionally used as livestock fences and property boundaries. With your classmates, you will deconstruct and rebuild an existing wall built to Dry Stone Walling Association certification test specifications. Taking apart a wall allows you to understand its structure and the methods used to build it.
You and your classmates strip out and rebuild the wall over the course of the day—9 to 5 with a half-hour break for lunch. Each of you builds about twenty-five square feet of wall (one side). The variety of stone you work with depends on the geology of the training site where you have come to learn. In the Northeast and Upper Midwest, you are likely to encounter round fieldstone, granite, gneiss, and bluestone. In Pennsylvania and Tennessee, you are likely to be working with sandstone. At every Stone Trust training site, you will engage in hands-on experience with the basic rules of structural dry stone walling. You will go home with a basic understanding of how to apply these principles to any type of stone and project. What you learn applies directly to all types of dry stone walls, including retaining walls, seat walls, and steps/stairs.
Come learn from certified waller-teachers, most of whom earn their livelihoods as dry stone walling professionals. All Stone Trust instructors have achieved DSWA Level 2 Waller Certification, globally recognized as the professional standard. As Stone Trust-DSWA-certified instructors, all belong to a learning community that seeks to ensure that every one of you learns what you came for and that you enjoy the process. With a student : instructor ratio of 8 : 1, you can count on plenty of direct interaction with your teachers. Introductory workshops tend to include up to sixteen participants working with two experienced waller-teachers.
Sample Workshop Agenda:
9:00 – 9:30
Introductions and Overview: How the wall is built and why it is built that way.
9:30 – 10:00
Stripping Out, Stone Sorting, and Safety
10:00 – 10:30
Stringlines, Batter, Foundations
10:30 – 12:30
First Lift: Principles of walling discussed, demonstrated, and practiced as you build the first few courses.
12:30 – 1:00
Lunch and Conversation
1:00 – 1:30
1:30 – 1:45
Tool Talk and/or Tour of Walls
1:45 – 3:45
Cover Bands and/or Copes
3:45 – 4:30
Clean-up, Review, Workshop Evaluation
Thanks for coming! (Certificate of Completion, T-shirts, and walling information)
Please note, instructors use their discretion to organize the day for an optimal learning experience.
- The workshop will run 9:00am-5:00pm with 1/2 hour lunch break.
- Participants should wear boots and work clothes (have plenty of layers for cool weather)
- What to bring: gloves, safety glasses, water, and lunch. (There is no where close enough to buy lunch with in the lunch break)
- All tools needed are provided.
Detailed info will be emailed to you once you register including what to bring and directions.
Licensed Landscape Architects can receive 7.5 LA CES credits for participating in this workshop.
Judy Rand shares what stonework means to her
Judy Rand is now one of 3 women DSWA-GB Level 2 Certified waller and instructors in the US. She now instructs many of our workshops including this course.