Stonewall Building Workshop Opportunity in September

  • September 20, 2019

Tear Cap Workshops is hosting The Stone Trust for an weekend of traditional, dry laid stone wall building September 28 - 29.  This course will be led by two certified instructors from the Stone Trust: Michael Weitzner (DSWA-GB Level IV) and Karl Gifford (DSWA-GB Level II). This weekend workshop is suited for both beginners and those with previous experience: this is the perfect workshop for anyone, from homeowners to professionals, to start learning about how to build dry stone walls. Participants will learn all the basic rules of structural walling that can be applied to any type of stone and project.

Over the course of the two days each participant will build about 35 square feet of wall on one side of the double wall. The wall we’re building at Tear Cap Workshops is a free standing wall, like those traditionally used as livestock fences and property boundaries. The information learned is directly applicable to all types of dry stone walls, including retaining walls, seat walls, and more.

Space is limited to 12 participants and registration is required for participation. Please see to sign up or for more information. The cost of the two-day class is $495. (At the time of this writing, there are only 3 spots left!) All tools (and about 35,000 lbs of stone) will be provided for the class; in addition, all participants will receive printed hand-outs, a tee-shirt, a hat, and a certificate upon completion of the course. We do ask folks to bring their own bag lunch, to wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty, and come prepared to learn a lot and have fun!

The Stone Trust was established in Vermont in 2010 with the mission preserving and advancing of dry stone walling. The Stone Trust is also the only site in North America offering regular test days for dry stone walling certification. The Dry Walling Association of Great Britain (or DSWA-GB) has become the international standard for walling excellence and certification.

There are four levels of certification offered: Initial, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master Craftsmen. Each level of certification includes a timed test, and for the advanced and master levels, a feature build of increased difficulty. There are only five Level IV Master Craftsmen in the United States, and we are lucky enough to have one leading the workshop in August.

Lead instructor Michael Weitzner has been a full-time dry stone waller and mason, and a professional member of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain since 1993. Michael has a strong interest in historic preservation and has become involved in historic bridge preservation. Michael was born in Switzerland in 1962 and has lived in Spain, England, Scotland and the USA.  Michael’s involvement with dry stone began at an early age when he was introduced to it by his Swiss grandfather.  Michael’s work has been featured in New Old House magazine, Vermont Life magazine, ‘Good Fences’ by Bill Hubbell and on HGTV’s Rebecca’s Garden. Michael lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Assistant instructor Karl Gifford spent eleven years doing trail work with several organizations in New England. After taking a workshop with the Dry Stone Conservancy decided to move towards working only with stone. Since then Karl has taken several workshops at The Stone Trust and has gained his Level II DSWA-GB Certification. He is also a DSWA-GB certified instructor. Karl owns and operates Sebago Stonework in Baldwin, Maine.

The weekend workshop will be held at Tear Cap Workshops, a non-profit organization, which now occupies a former sawmill site in Hiram.

More information and registration can be found at Please contact Tear Cap Workshops if you have any questions:  Phone: 207-625-3396  Email:



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Sarah Banks

22 Hampshire St
Hiram  ME  04041