The Stone Trust usually hosts two test days for people challenging themselves to achieve higher levels of certification through the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain. This year, for obvious reasons, we cancelled the spring test day. Most of the people who signed up to test last spring followed up on their aspirations this fall. On September 17 and 18, sixteen men and women tried for DSWA-GB certification, eleven at Level 1 Initial and five at Level 2 Professional. All of them passed!
Five women joined the ranks of wallers certified through The Stone Trust. Four of them work professionally as wallers, 3 for other certified wallers. This includes professional member Victoria Merriman, who jumped the Level 2 hurdle, becoming Intermediate Certified, and joining the four women in North America who have achieved that status. She becomes the only female certified Level 2 waller in New England.
All of the eleven men who tested this fall also passed their tests, with 4 coming from ME. Pro member, instructor, and board member Dan Morales-Walsh, and pro member David Inman traveled from ME to cheer them on. Of the Mainers, 3 received Level 1 certification, and Joe Norton advanced to Level 2.
Other newly certified Level 1 wallers include a mason from upstate New York, folks from NYC and New NYC, New Hampshire, including a high school teacher in western Massachusetts who began walling with his father twenty-to years ago.
In all wallers from NH, ME, VT, and MA, achieved their Level 2 certifications!
You can’t understand what all of these newly certified wallers have achieved until you’ve built your own section of wall, and then built some more, and then some more, and then some more. We admire their persistence and their commitment to mastery of the craft of dry stone walling. We thank them for participating in our walling community.
We also thank Master craftsmen Jared Flynn, Brian Post, and Michael Weitzner for acting as examiners during our September test days. Examiners for test days must be Certified Master Craftsmen who have then also trained as DSWA-GB examiners. There are currently just 8 certified DSWA-GB Master Craftsmen in the USA, and 4 are eligible to act as DSWA-GB examiners. We consider them a precious resource! Perhaps our newly certified comrades will someday be joining them at the top of the professional ranks.