For the Stone Trust, May brings Spring Certification Test Day. On May 17, eleven people will gather at the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont to test their walling skills. Five of these men and women will spend seven hours stripping out and rebuilding 27 square feet of a double-face freestanding wall. They will achieve Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA) Level 1 Initial certification if they can demonstrate the correct structural techniques in the given time frame.
The other six test candidates face the Level 2 Hurdle! These men will bring the same structural techniques to the same area of wall (roughly 4’ x 6’ x 6’). This test differs from the Level 1 test in at least two significant ways. Wallers will strip out and rebuild a vertical wall end that must be neatly tied in to the section of freestanding wall. Examiners will be looking for a much higher level of fit and finish. The DSWA Level 2 Professional Certification Test separates novices from professionals. Test takers will have prepared by building as many as ten cheek ends, on their own, with more advanced wallers, and in Test Prep workshops.
We very much appreciate the time and effort you wallers take to move up the certification pathway! Thank you for doing your part to preserve and advance the art and craft of dry stone walling. Thanks for proving to yourself and to people who cherish stone work in our landscapes that you know your stuff. Without you the tradition might not carry on.
Keep your eyes peeled for test results! And feel free to stop by to watch and provide moral support. This year’s event takes place later in the season than the featured photo (2019). Let’s hope for a not-too-cool, not-too, warm, sunny, pleasant day!