As workshop participants began to gather at the new social-distance just past the high wall in the Stone Wall Park, certified instructor Pete Ryder observed that the age range in the class extended from 17 to 70. The youngest student comes with a couple of days experience hearting with a local professional. He’s thinking of entering the profession himself. The eldest arrived with extensive experience building backcountry trails. Two others also have been doing stone work on trails for close to a decade. In fact, over the last six months we’ve gotten lots of calls from people seeking training in stone work for the purpose of building and maintaining trails.
As always, the class also included people with stone walls on their property that they want to restore and extend. They want to know how to create walls that will endure. Pete and co-instructor Jerry Coggin know how to teach them to do that. In our Introduction to Dry Stone Walling they teach the 5 basic rules and then support students in applying them in hands-on building. Participants get an overview of how to lay stone to result in a structurally sound wall. Expert instructors then provide one-to-one guidance as beginners make decisions to resolve issues presented by the realities of stone. Some students wonder what to read for reinforcement and further learning. Our instructors consider Dry Stone Walling: A Practical Handbook by Alan Brooks and Sean Adcock the bible for dry stone wallers. You can get it through our online store.
Our last workshop of 2020 takes place on November 7. Once you’ve completed the Intro, you’re ready for Fundamentals workshops in our Curriculum in Dry Stone, as well as for flagging and steps and stairs. Keep your eyes peeled for our 2021 schedule! We expect to be ready to register on November 2.