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2.50 Introduction to Stone Shaping Workshop

Dry Stone Wall Stone Shaping Course at The Stone Trust
Dry Stone Wall Stone Shaping Course at The Stone Trust

2.50 Introduction to Stone Shaping Workshop Overview:

Try your hand at shaping stones with hammers, chisels, and power tools, too! Learn techniques and efficient methods for getting stones to break where you want them to.

Workshop Objective:

To provide a basic understanding of how to shape a variety of stone types to produce shapes that will aid in creating a strong wall while “taking off the ugly.”

Learning Outcomes:

  • You can speak with basic awareness about different stone types and their characteristics.
  • You can describe a basic understanding of the physics of shaping stone.
  • You can share basic knowledge of techniques and tools.
  • You can use and maintain your tools correctly.
  • You can manage your materials and workspace safely and efficiently.

At this workshop you can expect a combination of presentation and hands-on time. Waller-teachers begin with a brief introduction to stone types and their characteristics. What are the characteristics of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks? How do stones in each category vary in compressive and in tensile strength? How does the make-up of a stone influence how it can be shaped?

Throughout the day, compare and contrast characteristics and shaping methods for the granite, gneiss, schist, slate, sandstone, and limestone you are likely to find at a workshop where stone shaping is offered. 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 field stone, granite, gneiss, and bluestone. In Pennsylvania and Tennessee, you are likely to be working with sandstone. Feel free to bring samples of your local stone, as well as the tools you want to learn how to better use.

Come for exposure to stone shaping methods—using both hand and power tools— including splitting, snapping, bending, trimming, using feathers and wedges, sawing and grinding, and removing high spots and saw cuts. Go home with a basic understanding of how and why to shape stones when you are building a dry stone structure.

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. Stone shaping workshops tend to include up to twelve participants working with two experienced waller-teachers.

Sample Workshop Agenda:

9:00 – 9:30
Introductions and Overview
9:30 – 12:30
Hands-on Learning, Small Group Rotations: Feathers and Wedges, Splitting, Bending, Snapping
12:30 – 1:00
Lunch and Conversation
1:00 – 3:30
Hands-on Learning, Small Group Rotations: Trimming, Removal of High Spots, Sawing and Removal of Sawn Faces after Cutting
3:30 – 3:45
Review: How and Why to Shape a Variety of Stones
3:45 – 4:30
Tool Maintenance
4:30 – 5:00
Clean-up and 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.

Critical Information:

  • 2-day workshop.
  • 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 encouraged to bring stone shaping tools they already own, and samples of the stone they work with.

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.

Upcoming 2.50 Introduction to Stone Shaping Workshops:

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All Upcoming Fundamentals (2.00) Level Courses

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