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Nick Aitken, Master Craftsman

Nick Aitken is one of the people in the world of dry stone walling you will want to meet.  He is one of the best wallers in world and is a fantastic instructor of dry stone walling.  He has been involved in dry stone projects around the world and now for the first time is coming to the Stone Trust to participate in Irish and Scottish Dry Stone Walling Workshop May 14th and 15th.  Nick will also be one of the examiners for our spring Certification test days, and he is volunteering his time to give an presentation on dry stone walling in the evening of May 14th.

Nick first visited Vermont in 1993 at the tail end of a trip round the world. When he returned to Scotland he worked for Neil Rippingale for a couple of seasons and learned the difference between drystone walling as a hobby and a full time profession.

In 1995 Nick joined a local authority in the Scottish Highlands and has enjoyed 21 years working with a wide variety of stone types and structures, from Brochs and Blackhouses to burial ground walls – some built of nearly ‘impossible’ stone.

Nick is a qualified Master Craftsman, examiner and instructor through the DSWAUK and recently passed his timed test for DSC’s master craftsman qualification.

He has participated in stone related events throughout the USA and Mallorca and is proud to be associated with The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland’s ‘Gathering of Stones’.

He has written a book on drystone terminology and techniques, drawing on ancient and modern sources. He may be the only person who can explain why hearting a drystone wall should not be done ‘promiscuously’.

The completed book is currently being reviewed in preparation for publishing.

Nick Aiken at The Gathering of Stones 2013. (image source