On two beautiful late September days, fifteen men and women gathered at the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont to learn the five basic rules of dry stone walling. Four others came to apply those principles to building vertical wall ends, also known as cheek ends. You came from near and far–Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington State.
Photos show very neat work! The two faces look well zipped. You are working together, thinking together, talking together. Lots of learning going on! Instructors Sam Brakeley and Russell Autrey reported great communication and excellent, positive participation. Thanks to everyone for that!
The Introduction to Dry Stone Walling workshop took place on our social-distance walls. Each occupies about eight feet. You build to the height you can accomplish in a seven-hour day. Prior to the pandemic, people learned on long walls approximately five feet tall. Different teaching and learning experiences, both good. The variety gives Stone Trust instructors lots of food for thought, as they consider how best to teach you what they know.
… like the four men and women who worked with instructor Michael Weitzner at the Cheek Rebuild workshop, all of whom returned to add to their knowledge and experience. Several of you are Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA) Level 1 Initial Waller-certified. You stripped out and rebuilt vertical wall ends on the long, tall test walls, working slowly on day one to ensure a well-built foundation, faster on day two to complete the structure and place the end cope. Cheek ends comprise the Level 2 Intermediate (Professional) Waller test. Rule of thumb, build at least ten. Work with experienced wallers. Take a Test Prep workshop. Then test your skills on a spring or fall test day!
Thanks to everyone for making the time and taking the trip. Each of you is helping to preserve the craft of dry stone walling.