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1.21 Women’s Intro to Dry Stone Walling (2-Day)

1.21 Women’s Intro to Dry Stone Walling Workshop (2-Day) Overview:

Two days give you more hands-on time to apply the basic principles. Spend more time working with batter frames and stringlines. Sleep on what you learn and come back to practice with guidance. Get exposed to basic stone shaping and stone splitting. Enjoy more time interacting with waller-teachers and getting answers to your questions.

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.

Workshop Objective:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

  • 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 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 thirty-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, Safety and Stone Sorting
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
Tool Talk and/or Tour of Walls
1:30 – 3:30
First Lift Continued
3:30 – 4:30
4:30 – 5:00
Tidy Up and Review
See you tomorrow!
9:00 – 9:30
Check-in and Overview
9:30 – 12:30
Second Lift (techniques for handling smaller stones)
12:30 – 1:00
Lunch and Conversation
1:00 – 4:00
Cover Bands and/or Copes
4:00 – 4:30
Tidy up and Review
4:30 – 5:00
Workshop Evaluation, Certificates, and Walling Info
Thanks for coming!

Please note, instructors use their discretion to organize the day for an optimal learning experience.

This workshop is typically offered simultaneously 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.

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.

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

Landscape Architects receive 15 LA CES credits for taking this workshop

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