Course Catalog 2019

Curriculum in Dry Stone

The Stone Trust

Five Levels from Novice to Master

Stone by Stone

Progression

Our rubric for learning to wall starts with an introduction to dry stone walling where you gain an appreciation for the only two forces at play in a dry stone wall; friction and gravity.  As you gain more experience you will learn to use these forces to the best advantage.

Our goal is to take you to a place in this progression that enables you to achieve your goals in stone, whether you are a hobbyist, homeowner, landscaper or craftsman.

Our path consists of formal courses, experiential walling days, and certification.  A critical part of learning the craft is to practice it.  Dry stone walling can be simply thought of as a series of choices, each of which have implications for the next set of choices.  Learn the skills in a workshop.  Practice them on your own and in walling days alongside other wallers.

The certification process distills your knowledge through the pressure of a timed test.  This serves as a measuring stick for your skills and as a mechanism to help you make better choices as you build.

LevelWhat You Learn
IntroductionThe basic principles
FundamentalsA working knowledge of structurally sound dry stone construction
Dry Stone WallerTo build a structurally sound and beautiful wall that will last decades.
Advanced WallerTo incorporate advanced structures into your walls, and to guide others in walling.
MasterMastery of the many choices available to the waller.
July 2018 Introductory Walling Group

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. ~Henry Ford

#CourseDescription
1.10Introduction to Dry Stone WallingLearn the fundamentals of building a structurally sound dry stone wall in a single day.
1.11Women’s Intro to Dry Stone WallingLearn the fundamentals of building a structurally sound dry stone wall in a single day in an a women environment
1.20Two-Day Intro to Dry Stone WallingLearn the fundamentals of building a structurally sound dry stone wall with additional active building time. Get introduced to shaping stones, and other related skills and tools.

First Steps

Our introductory courses provide the basic tools needed to build a dry stone wall.  You will learn that stone wall building is hard work but not impossible.  The joy of the work, and the satisfaction of a job well done is infectious.  You will learn five simple rules that enable a dry stone wall to stay in place, and much more!

An introduction to walling can be taken in a single-day or two-day format.  Which format suits you depends on your level of fitness to bend over and lift stones.  It also depends on your goal.  To get a taste of what dry stone walling is all about, a single day will suffice.  To get more working experience, two days is better.  We also offer a women-only version of the single-day course.

In either format, the structure of the course is the same, beginning with an existing wall.  You will be working your own section of wall, building across from and next to, other students.  The first step is to dismantle the wall, sorting the stone as you go and paying attention to how it is built.  The remainder of the course is spent rebuilding the wall.

All of this is done with active individual and group instruction.  As with all of our workshops, each instructor will have no more than 8 students.

#CourseDescription
2.10Historic Wall RebuildStudents will rebuild a long-neglected farm wall. You will learn site preparation, pre-build staging, setup and use of batter frames, and wall construction. The product of the workshop will be a free-standing wall.
2.13Contractors Intro WorkshopThis one day course is tailored to the hardscape professional. The student will learn the key walling concepts and will build a free standing wall. Similar to 1.11 but caters to the needs of landscapers and masons.
2.20Retaining WallsThis one-day workshop teaches the fundamentals of retaining walls. The student will sort and stage stone for the build, assist in batter frame setup, and will build a retaining wall.
2.40Cheek RebuildEach student in this two-day workshop will rebuild the a wall cheek (free standing vertical wall end). You will learn to grade and sort stone in preparation for a build. You will set up batter frames and string lines. This course is intended as a first hands-on exposure to building a square end to a wall. This fundamental skill will be leveraged in many features you might build in the future.
2.50Introduction to Stone ShapingTry your hand and shaping stones with hammers, chisels, and power tools too! Learn techniques and methods for efficiently getting stones to break where you want them too.
2.60Contractors IntensiveThis course is intended to provide hardscape professionals with working fundamental skills for dry stone walling. The student will learn proper use of batter frames and stringlines, site and material preparation, and wall construction. They will rebuild a free standing wall, and will then rebuild a cheek. This course includes a Level 1 certification test on the last day.
2.70Walling DayLow cost opportunity for those with workshop experience to gain walling experience with certified professions on site.
2.80Level 1 Test PreparationThe student will rebuild a Level 1 test stint against the clock. An instructor will answer questions and provide feedback at multiple points during the day. The purpose of this course is to help the student develop strategies for building within the test time limit while constructing a passing wall.
2.90Level 1 Certification TestThe successful tester will have walled for at least five days and will be able to recite the five rules.

Foundations

The art of foundations, through-stones and copes are combined with experiential learning to craft retaining walls, free standing wall ends, and to rebuild historic farm walls in this series of courses.

Historic Rebuild workshop students will participate in the site preparation necessary to rebuild old dilapidated walls.  The Retaining and Cheek Rebuild workshops develop skills needed for the majority of walling projects.  In each of these you will learn batter frame techniques that lead to a stronger and more beautiful wall.

A new offering for 2019 is the Contractors Intensive.  This five day offering in the Winter is conducted inside.  The intent is to transform practicing landscapers into certified wallers.   The Contractors Intro workshop is also a great way for the hardscape professional to start down the dry stone path.

Level 1 Certification is a great way to benchmark your progress. Testing makes you a better waller!

One summer day, while I was walking along the country road on the farm where I was born, a section of the stone wall opposite me, and not more than three or four yards distant, suddenly fell down. Amid the general stillness and immobility about me the effect was quite startling. … It was the sudden summing up of half a century or more of atomic changes in the material of the wall. A grain or two of sand yielded to the pressure of long years, and gravity did the rest.
~John Burroughs

Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. ~ Anton Chekhov

#CourseDescription
3.10Steps & StairsStudents will work in small teams to assemble stairs. Skills learned include proper base preparation, moving and manipulating large stone, and design principles for steps. You will also learn how to integrate steps into other hardscape elements.
3.20FlaggingThe student will learn how to prepare the base and lay flagging. A variety of materials will be used. Shaping techniques will be taught.
3.30Walling Skills IntensiveStudents in this workshop will build a wall cheek from scratch. You will learn to shape through stones and cheek material. You will assemble and use your own batter frame. You will learn strategies for rapid building, and for effective bonding of throughs and cheeks to the wall. The goal is to build a cheek that is of passing Level 2 quality.
3.70Walling DayLow cost opportunity for those with Level 1 certification gain walling experience, especially building cheek ends, with certified professions on site.
3.80Level 2 Test PreparationThe student will rebuild a Level 2 test stint against the clock. An instructor will answer questions and provide feedback at multiple points during the day. The purpose of this course is to help the student develop strategies for building within the test time limit while constructing a passing wall.
3.90Level 2 Certification Test The successful tester will have built a minimum of five cheeks, taken the pretest successfully, and will have built at least 50’ of wall on their own.

Competency

Serious hobbyists and professionals will find that these workshops provide the tools they need to build lasting and beautiful walls and features.

The Walling Skills Intensive is a four day workshop that teaches all of the skills needed to build a cheek end that meets Level 2 standards.  Topics covered extensively include batter frames and building to the line, stone shaping for through-stones and cheek material, and build strategy.

Recognizing the commitment that students are making to the craft, after participating in the Walling Skills Intensive workshop, each student will be paired with a certified instructor as a mentor to aid in the path to Level 2 certification.

Steps & Stairs, and Flagging workshops address design elements common to many residential projects.

Level 2 Certification is perhaps the most difficult jump in the certification scheme.  In our experience, this is where many wallers get off the train.  Key to success is your personal investment in the necessary skills.  It is our recommendation that before testing at Level 2, you build at least five cheek ends and 50 feet of free standing wall.  More is better!

Stop competing with everyone else. Focus on becoming better than the person you were yesterday. Aim to be your best. Aim to grow you! ~Brooke Griffin

#CourseDescription
4.10Dry Stone Walling Instructors CourseLearn how to teach dry stone walling. This course teaches the needed skills to be a successful instructor and group leader. Understand learning styles, communication methods and much more.
4.50Business Fundamentals for the WallerThis course will cover multiple aspects of creating and operating a dry stone wall business. The student will learn what goes into a business plan and how to use it. They will learn marketing strategies. They will learn how to plan at a level appropriate to job scale. We will teach the basics of contracts and other legal aspects.
Students will be exposed to a variety of community resources for the small business. We will discuss material sourcing and negotiation. This is a classroom course taught by a team of instructors versed in business creation, growth, and operations.
4.70Advanced Walling DayLevel 2 certified wallers can gain experience working a variety of challenging walls and features
4.90Level 3 Certification Test The successful tester will have built at more than 200’ of high quality wall on their own. Their work will have incorporated a variety of features, including features they select for their certification. They will also have taught at least 10 workshops.

Artistry

A core part of our progression to Advanced Walling is instruction.  The Instructor Certification course provides you with interpersonal and leadership skills.  These skills are equally applicable to teaching workshops and to leading crews on a project.

The walling skills needed to achieve Level 3 certification are primarily developed on either personal or professional projects.  Expect to build hundreds of feet of wall on your progression.

Business Fundamentals for the Waller will provide you with tools to win more business, and execute your projects more profitably.

Advanced Walling Days are an opportunity to build features with other wallers at one of the Stone Trust sites.  This is a great way to learn while broadening your connections in the walling community.  It also is a great way to give back to The Stone Trust.

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one becomes a master. ~Ernest Hemingway

#CourseDescription
5.10Design Principles for the WallerThis workshop will be held at a site conducive to experiencing the following topics and will include both classroom and field elements. Topics covered include: engineering for the waller, aesthetics and integration with site and architecture
, and historic and geologic perspectives.
5.20Feature BuildThis workshop will be taught by one or more master craftsmen and will teach advanced skills appropriate to the chosen feature. Example features may include arches, bridges, dams, buildings, and artistic features.
5.90Level 4 Certification Test The successful tester will have walled extensively for several years. They will have walled with multiple walling traditions and communities.

The Zen of Walling

True Master Craftsmen are rare indeed!  They have demonstrated their skills on a myriad of projects.  A common trait is diversity in their portfolio.  Wall and wall some more!

The Design Principles for the Waller provides knowledge of adjacent domains that can be applied to transform a perfectly good wall concept into a masterpiece.  Topics include engineering, artistic aspects of walling (such as color, texture and perspective), and geology.  You will also learn about the history of walling and be exposed to walling traditions from across the globe.

Each Feature Build workshop is unique and tuned to the interest of students.  It will usually focus on a large installation with considerable technical challenges.

Level 4 Certification marks a transition point in your path.  Master Wallers don’t stop learning; they just keep amazing!

The Stone Trust Course Catalog

Not all courses are offered every year.  Click any course to find out more

#CourseDaysPrerequisite Description
1.10Introduction to Dry Stone Walling1NoneLearn the fundamentals of building a structurally sound dry stone wall in a single day.
1.11Women’s Intro to Dry Stone Walling1NoneLearn the fundamentals of building a structurally sound dry stone wall in a single day in an a women environment
1.20Two-Day Intro to Dry Stone Walling2NoneLearn the fundamentals of building a structurally sound dry stone wall with additional active building time. Get introduced to shaping stones, and other related skills and tools.
2.10Historic Wall Rebuild3NoneStudents will rebuild a long-neglected farm wall. You will learn site preparation, pre-build staging, setup and use of batter frames, and wall construction. The product of the workshop will be a free-standing wall.
2.13Contractors Intro Workshop1NoneThis one day course is tailored to the hardscape professional. The student will learn the key walling concepts and will build a free standing wall. Similar to 1.11 but caters to the needs of landscapers and masons.
2.20Retaining Walls1Any 1.xx or 2.10 or 2.13This one-day workshop teaches the fundamentals of retaining walls. The student will sort and stage stone for the build, assist in batter frame setup, and will build a retaining wall.
2.40Cheek Rebuild2Any 1.xx or 2.10 or 2.13Each student in this two-day workshop will rebuild the a wall cheek (free standing vertical wall end). You will learn to grade and sort stone in preparation for a build. You will set up batter frames and string lines. This course is intended as a first hands-on exposure to building a square end to a wall. This fundamental skill will be leveraged in many features you might build in the future.
2.50Introduction to Stone Shaping1Any 1.xx or 2.10 or 2.13Try your hand and shaping stones with hammers, chisels, and power tools too! Learn techniques and methods for efficiently getting stones to break where you want them too.
2.60Contractors Intensive5NoneThis course is intended to provide hardscape professionals with working fundamental skills for dry stone walling. The student will learn proper use of batter frames and stringlines, site and material preparation, and wall construction. They will rebuild a free standing wall, and will then rebuild a cheek. This course includes a Level 1 certification test on the last day.
2.70Walling Day1Any 1.xx or 2.10 or 2.13Low cost opportunity for those with workshop experience to gain walling experience with certified professions on site.
2.80Level 1 Test Preparation1Any 2.xx or 1.xxThe student will rebuild a Level 1 test stint against the clock. An instructor will answer questions and provide feedback at multiple points during the day. The purpose of this course is to help the student develop strategies for building within the test time limit while constructing a passing wall.
2.90Level 1 Certification Test1Any 2.xx, 2.80 recommendedThe successful tester will have walled for at least five days and will be able to recite the five rules.
3.10Steps & Stairs1NoneStudents will work in small teams to assemble stairs. Skills learned include proper base preparation, moving and manipulating large stone, and design principles for steps. You will also learn how to integrate steps into other hardscape elements.
3.20Flagging1NoneThe student will learn how to prepare the base and lay flagging. A variety of materials will be used. Shaping techniques will be taught.
3.30Walling Skills Intensive42.10 or 2.40 or 2.90Students in this workshop will build a wall cheek from scratch. You will learn to shape through stones and cheek material. You will assemble and use your own batter frame. You will learn strategies for rapid building, and for effective bonding of throughs and cheeks to the wall. The goal is to build a cheek that is of passing Level 2 quality.
3.70Walling Day12.90Low cost opportunity for those with Level 1 certification gain walling experience, especially building cheek ends, with certified professions on site.
3.80Level 2 Test Preparation12.90 required 3.30 recomendedThe student will rebuild a Level 2 test stint against the clock. An instructor will answer questions and provide feedback at multiple points during the day. The purpose of this course is to help the student develop strategies for building within the test time limit while constructing a passing wall.
3.90Level 2 Certification Test12.90, 3.30 & 3.80 highly recommended.The successful tester will have built a minimum of five cheeks, taken the pretest successfully, and will have built at least 50’ of wall on their own.
4.10Dry Stone Walling Instruction33.90Learn how to teach dry stone walling. This course teaches the needed skills to be a successful instructor and group leader. Understand learning styles, communication methods and much more.
4.50Business Fundamentals for the Waller2NoneThis course will cover multiple aspects of creating and operating a dry stone wall business. The student will learn what goes into a business plan and how to use it. They will learn marketing strategies. They will learn how to plan at a level appropriate to job scale. We will teach the basics of contracts and other legal aspects.
Students will be exposed to a variety of community resources for the small business. We will discuss material sourcing and negotiation. This is a classroom course taught by a team of instructors versed in business creation, growth, and operations.
4.70Advanced Walling Day43.30 or 3.90Level 2 certified wallers can gain experience working a variety of challenging walls and features
4.90Level 3 Certification Test3 - 4 Weeks3.90The successful tester will have built at more than 200’ of high quality wall on their own. Their work will have incorporated a variety of features, including features they select for their certification. They will also have taught at least 10 workshops.
5.10Design Principles for the Waller5NoneThis workshop will be held at a site conducive to experiencing the following topics and will include both classroom and field elements. Topics covered include:
Engineering for the waller.
Aesthetics and integration with site and architecture
Historic and geologic perspectives"
5.20Feature BuildVaries3.90This workshop will be taught by one or more master craftsmen and will teach advanced skills appropriate to the chosen feature. Example features may include arches, bridges, dams, buildings, and artistic features.
5.90Level 4 Certification Test 3 - Months4.90The successful tester will have walled extensively for several years. They will have walled with multiple walling traditions and communities.