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October Medley, October 21-24, 2021–New Hampshire

A Contractors Intro opened the first New Hampshire Medley Weekend, possible thanks to Pete Ryder’s three years of effort conceiving and building outdoor classrooms where you can come and learn across the Curriculum in Dry Stone. Sixteen of you garnered the five basics of dry stone walling, some of you with the intention of continuing on to acquire other dry stone masonry skills as the weekend went on.

Half of you brought professional backgrounds to your experience, as landscape designers and contractors. One of you is a stone artist. Another has rolled out over half a million croissants at her bakery, where she also installed a blue stone patio and edged the parking lot with granite curbstones. A bunch of you are DIYers with projects at home. Some of you may be contemplating a career change. Overall, you reported having learned what you came for and feeling confident of your ability to build on the knowledge gleaned from instructors Pete Ryder and Jerry Coggin. Glad to hear it!

Two of you went on to join five others Friday’s retaining wall workshop. Every one of you came to apply the principles of building a structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing freestanding wall to a situation where you want to hold back the earth. You compared the forces that push differently on freestanding and retaining walls. You considered frost heaving and drainage. You left again feeling confident about using what you learned on the projects you have in mind.

Thanks to Seth Harris and Pete Ryder for sharing their knowledge and experience with you!

Three of you continued on from retaining walls to Saturday’s flagging/patio workshop. Three others joined the workshop taught by Robert Faraone and Pete Ryder. All but one of you are what at the Stone Trust we call enthusiasts–people with projects and a deep desire to work with stone. The other is a professional contractor of twelve years, and maybe an enthusiast, too!

Sunday, the final day of the Medley Weekend, required a choice–Introduction to Stone Shaping or Steps and Stairs Workshop.

Four of you chose stone shaping with Andras Lazar and Pete Ryder, where you and two others experienced various methods for shaping stone depending on its characteristics. You can give reasons for shaping stone and choose a suitable method of a given stone.

Two of you,  joined by a third, went on to steps and stairs with Michael Weitzner. You learned how to plan and lay out a stairway and prepare a solid, stable base. You considered drainage issues and fabric use. You discussed tool selection and how to make stable steps of smaller stones. And you gleaned methods for moving large stones safely and efficiently.

The October Medley Weekend also included our first Women’s 2-Day Introduction to Dry Stone Walling and Women’s 2-Day Cheek Rebuild, taught by two of the first five women professionally certified as Level 2 Intermediate Wallers, Kim Coggin and Judy Rand, and supported by the fifth, Victoria Merriman. In September, Kim achieved Level 3 Advanced Waller status by successfully completing the second of a two-part test, the retaining wall speed test! She is the first woman in North America to advance to this level.

You can read about the women’s workshops here.

Thanks for traveling from near and far–from California and Pennsylvania and from all the states in New England. Thanks to our instructors for traveling to teach. No waller-teachers, no one learning walling! Do come again.