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1.21 Two-Day Women’s Introduction to Dry Stone Walling

1.11 Women's Intro Workshop
1.11 Women's Intro Workshop

1.21 Women’s Two Day Introductory Workshop Overview:

A chance to learn from the women in North America who are DSWA Certified Instructors! At The Stone Trust, all of our women’s only workshops are taught by women wallers.

This workshop covers much of the same material as 1.10.  However the two day format allows for more hands on time for every student. In addition to basic principles, basic stone shaping will be introduced, using feathers and wedges to split stones will be demonstrated, and more time will be spent on setting up batter frames and string lines. The two day format allows for more direct time from the instructors. This allows for time to ask questions about your own projects and get a more immersive experience.

This workshop is ideal for homeowner or landscaper looking for a 2-day workshop format. This workshop is suited to beginners as well as those with some previous stone working experience.

Over the course of the two days each participant will build about 35 sq. ft. of wall (one side). These workshops are taught a variety of stone. It could be round field stone stone, flat ledge stone, or a mix of both. Check the specific course listings for details. Participants will learn all the basic rules of structural dry stone walling that can be applied to any type of stone and project.

The hands on experience in this workshop will be on a free standing wall, like those traditionally used as livestock fences and property boundaries. The information learned is directly applicable to all types of dry stone walls, including retaining walls, seat walls, and more.

Certified DSWA-GB Instructors will guide participants through the process of building a dry stone wall.  There will be no more than 8 students per instructor, so there is plenty of direct interaction with the instructors.  Most workshops have 2 instructors with up to 16 participants.

This workshop is typically offered spring and fall in Dummerston VT, and at select other locations at varying times.

This course is commonly taught at:


The day will begin with an introductory discussion.  Participants will select their area to work, and start by dismantling the existing wall.  During this process, stone sorting techniques will be taught, and correct and incorrect aspects of the existing wall will be discussed.  Once the walls are dismantled, the foundation will be discussed and prepared as needed.  Setting up batter frames, and the all important string-line guides will be introduced and demonstrated.  Participants will then be guided through placing foundation stones, and beginning to build the wall.  Over the course of the 1st day, principles of walling are discussed, demonstrated, and practiced as the 1st few courses are built by the participants.  Typically, by the end of the 1st day throughstones will be introduced, discussed, and placed.

During lunch times, participants will have the opportunity to ask the instructors questions about their own projects, and purchase a wide variety of tools, books and other supplies.

On the 2nd day, building will continue.  The 2nd lift of the wall will be built, and participants will learn some techniques for handling smaller stones.  Shaping stones will also be introduced.  Splitting large stones using feathers and wedges will be demonstrated.  Cope stones will be introduced and placed on the wall.  The day will finish with brief clean up and review of the wall(s) built that day.

A guided tour of the other walls and stone features at the location where the workshop is taught is a part of the workshop.

At the end of the workshop participants will receive a certificate of workshop completion,  t-shirt, and a packet full of walling information.  There is also time to purchase tools, books and supplies, as well as ask additional questions.

This workshop is typically offered co-currently with 2.40 Cheek Rebuild.  So more advanced participants may be working near by or along side learning to build cheek ends (wall ends).

Critical Information:

  • Each day 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, rain gear, safety glasses, water, and lunch.  (There is no where close enough to buy lunch with in the lunch break)
  • All tools needed are provided.
  • Participants are welcome to bring stone shaping tools they already own.

Detailed info will be emailed to you once you register including what to bring and directions.

Licensed Landscape Architects can receive 15 LA CES credits for participating in this workshop.

Workshop quick guide:

  • Great 1st workshop
  • All women environment
  • Instructors are women
  • 2-days: 9am-5pm
  • Learn the basics
  • Get introduced to shaping stones
  • Two day format allows for more instruction

See the Dummerston site and a 2-day workshop in action:

Landscape Architects receive 15 LA CES credits for taking this workshop

Photos from 1.20 workshops