The day after Spring Test Day at the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, a group traveled to Dublin, New Hampshire for the assessment of Ben Sandri’s Level 3A feature wall. Ben sited his wall at 233 Bonds Corner Road, the home of his brother John. Locating a site presents a challenge to aspiring Level 3 wallers. They need a place close enough to home to allow them to put in the 120 or so hours of labor required. Time away from home and work is costly to family and firm.
Ben’s brother’s property offered Ben a perfect location. The wall graces the roadside of John’s property, standing as a beautiful testament to the craftsmanship both Sandri’s began acquiring as boys working with their father. John operates Sandri Stone: Dry Stone Design and Construction. May Ben’s wall bring them both good fortune!
Candidates for the Level 3 take a test in two parts. Part 1 entails building 5 square meters of curved wall, plus an additional 5 square meters that incorporates a lunky or waterpen. Or candidates can choose to build the additional meters as a high wall or a wall on a slope of 20 degrees or more. You can see in the photos that Ben chose to incorporate a lunky (pass through) into his curved wall.
At 10 a.m. on a day delightful to swarms of black flies, Ben stood near his wall with Pete Ryder, Stone Trust Director of Education & Training, who had come to support him. Shortly, Amy-Louise Pfeffer, Executive Director, showed up. Next came Master Craftsman and DSWA Assessor Michael Weitzner, who mentors Level 3 test candidates. Shortly Andy Loudon, Chief Assessor for the DSWA, and Chris Tanguay, also a Master Craftsman and DSWA Assessor arrived to examine the wall, determine the points, and award the certification.
Of course, taking a test comes with uncertainty. But Ben’s beautiful wall passed with flying colors! Andy told him, “At home I would say that wall would stand 100 years.” He also expressed confidence that Ben will pass Part B of the Level 3 test in September. He’ll be stripping out and rebuilding to standard at least 4.5 square meters of retaining wall in seven hours. Feel free to come to the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont on Fall Test Day, September 22 to cheer Ben on!