Introduction to Drystone Walling

Two-day Course

Saturday June 8 & Sunday June 9 (9:00am – 5:00pm both days)  *this course is full*

Instructor: Ben Hendry

Please get in touch if you would like to be added to one or both of the following lists:
– The waiting list for this course
– The notification list for future courses (you will be the first to hear when we offer this workshop again)

Drystone Walling is an ancient craft that is seemingly simple but full of nuance and skill. A wall that is built by piling stones haphazardly will only last a few winters compared to a carefully constructed wall that can last generations. The extreme spectrum of drystone walling can be summed up by comparing the mound-like serpentine walls that farmers pile up while clearing fields over decades, to the exacting accuracy of the tetris block-like Incan ruins in Peru. Both these examples should be considered drystone walls, both have their purpose and aesthetic appeal, neither could be farther from the other. This course focuses on technique and aesthetic and the idea that the two often go hand in hand.

Day one will start indoors with theory lessons on the general rules of stone bonding and bonding patterns, breaking the rules to create interest and originality, techniques and layout of a structurally sound drystone wall, terminology, safety, and a quick run down of the tools we will be using and the wall we will be building. The bulk of the day will be spent outside learning the fundamentals of cutting stone and building wall. Participants are welcome to suggest aspects of future projects that they want to work out before they tackle them on their own. Funky ideas are encouraged and we can work through them as time allows. Each participant will be able to work on their own section of wall but stones are heavy and some collaboration and teamwork will be necessary. 

Day two will start with a lesson in arch geometry and layout. We will go over some of the most common arch shapes and how to make forms for them. The rest of the day will be spent drystone walling and continuing to practise good techniques.

The focus of this class is not to complete an exact project in a set amount of time, but rather to have fun working hard and learn skills that can be carried forward into your own life in whatever capacity you choose. My goal as an instructor is to impart to you the techniques and care that is required to build a stable drystone wall that will stand the test of time.

$320.00 + HST
All tool and materials provided

Fresh, homemade lunches and morning snacks/coffee included both days. All dietary needs accommodated.

CALL TO REGISTER – (613) 464-2105