Over the course of two days in two workshops, fifteen people built patio sections at the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont. People traveled from five states in New England, as well as from New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Fourteen members of the group identified as male, one as female, and one as neutral.
Experience ranged from none to considerable. One person brought a background in ecological landscape design. A group of men with five-plus years of experience traveled from Murrysville, Pennsylvania. A couple of people started with an introductory course and came back to continue learning how to plan and implement their projects, as homeowners and as professionals. From retaining walls to pathways to steps to fireplaces, everyone returned to add flatwork to their portfolio of stone work. All reports say that they got what they came for, knowledge about how to prepare a properly drained base, shape stone to suit the design, and safely and efficiently handle their stone.
Many thanks to everyone for making the trip. And thanks to instructors Ben Maron and Ron Neil and to Torben Larsen and Rob Faraone for excellent facilitation of the April 17 and 18 workshops respectively.