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5 Day Contractors Intensive Workshop Nashville, TN, November 8-12

Thoughts from Martin Beevers, Resident Champion and Site Facilitator of the Stone Trust training site at the Land, Kingston Springs, Tennessee.

We brought the 2021 workshop season to a close here in Tennessee on a real high. This was the first year of workshops at the Nashville site as part the Stone Trust organization. It has been a remarkably successful partnership.

Seven participants from Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and Arkansas, came down to Kingston Springs for a five-day Contractor’s Intensive course. It’s a two-day detailed introduction to dry stone construction, a level I test prep, a day of stone shaping and industry discussions, all culminating in a final day, the Dry Stone Walling Association Level I Initial Waller exam.

This curriculum has been designed with the contractor in mind and five of the seven participants were small business owners in related fields. It’s hard work both mentally and physically. But when you have such a great group of students and such expert support from the Stone Trust in the shape of course leader, Pete Ryder and Master Craftsman and Examiner, Brian Post, much of that pressure was taken away.

I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort developing the site here. With the backing of The Stone Trust, it was always our goal to create an alternative location to Vermont, capable of hosting examinations year-round. With this final workshop of 2021 I think we have achieved just that.

All seven test candidates passed with flying colors. I have to give special mention to Luis Contreras. Luis came down from Philadelphia with absolutely no prior experience in any type of stonework. And in five days, went from total novice to passing his level I with 84 marks. That’s pretty impressive by anybody’s standards.

Once again, huge thanks to Lesley Mortimer-Wallace, owner of the Land. Still the hostess with the mostest.

A thoroughly memorable and rewarding week.