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Engaging the Art and Craft of Dry Stone Walling at the Stone Trust NY @ Opus 40

The Stone Trust NY @ Opus 40 hosted a full weekend of workshops with a 2-Day Introduction to Dry Stone Walling and a Cheek Rebuild Workshop. The Stone Trust NY has attracted folks from all over who want  to learn the art and craft of dry stone walling at such a unique site. Built at a historic bluestone quarry, Opus 40 was the great work–he opus–of Harvey Fite. In 2022, the Stone Trust built training walls, in order to provide instruction and certification. In addition, a Stone Trust workshop at Opus 40 includes tours of the restoration of Fite’s dry stone sculpture by professional wallers engaged in the work over the past two years.

Many of you who came to this spring’s introduction and cheek rebuild workshops live in the state of New York. How great that the Stone Trust can teach dry stone walling to a local community! A few of you traveled from farther afield: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New England, and Michigan. No matter how far, thank you all for making the trip.

The introductory workshop included people with a variety of professional experience as landscapers, landscape architects, and trail builders. Others came with personal interests in dry stone walling. Most of you who attended the cheek rebuild workshop came to expand your skill set, some bringing over ten years of landscape experience, another newly certified as a Level 1 Waller, and a couple building on what they’ve learned at previous Stone Trust workshops. The 2-Day Intro and Cheek Rebuild workshops run simultaneously, as each group learns to work on different parts of the wall. Beginning wallers get a glimpse of the next step: what do you do when you get to the end of your wall?

At the end of the weekend, the wallers in both workshops left feeling like they had mastered the learning objectives and the five basic rules of dry stone walling. Some of you have further skills you want to learn, so maybe we will see you at future Stone Trust workshops. Thank you for dedicating your weekend to learning the craft of dry stone walling and thus, supporting the Stone Trust mission.

Thank you, also, to instructors Ben Maron, Ben Maxfield, and Russell Autrey for another fantastic weekend of Stone Trust workshops. One participant said they “appreciated the willingness to share knowledge and encourage further collaboration.” Thank you also to Dan Ryan and Ree Davies for volunteering your time in helping others learn about dry stone walling.