Q and A about a Local (USA) Branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain

From a recent email inquiry.

Q. I am writing to inquire if you can point me in the right
direction for a local (SE New England) branch of DSWA. I am
interested in taking courses in order to learn the craft.

A. There are no DSWA branches in the USA. A number of American wallers
have gained DSWA certification, myself included, but we don’t have any
formal ties as a group with the association. Maybe someday there will
be enough DSWA members in one area of the country to get together on a
regular basis. As for now, there are perhaps three dozen people
around the northeast who have passed one or more of the four DSWA
certification test scheme levels.

I will be offering walling workshops through Great River Arts
Institute in May, July and October.

If you, or perhaps an organization in your area, would like to put on
a workshop I am available to instruct. I can also recommend other
DSWA qualified craftsmen as instructors.

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2 Responses to Q and A about a Local (USA) Branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain

  1. Dan Snow January 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    At this time the only DSWA test venue scheduled for 2009 in the USA is in my home area, Dummerston, Vermont. Myself and other DSWA examiners from both the US and Great Britain often travel to conduct certification scheme examinations. Sometimes a group of wall building enthusiasts will organize their own test day. Or a local sponsoring agency may put together a venue and advertise for candidates.
    Examiners can offer advice with planning details but it is ultimately up to the organizer and participants to put together a successful test venue.
    Similar arrangements can be made with qualified instructors of dry
    stone construction to conduct trainings. But perhaps the simplest way for an individual to get training in the craft would be to attend a workshop. The DSC in Kentucy, DSWAC in Canada and GRAI in Vermont are three organizations offering walling workshops in 2009.
    Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. Stonemason January 24, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    Hello there,
    I was led to your site through an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, very interesting and I plan on adding your books to my library in the near future. I reside and work in S.E. PA, the stone side of my life being a ‘paying hobby’. I was employed in the field for some years, then on my own for about ten, then, needing the luxury of a steady pay-check and insurance I acquired a ‘real’ job.
    To make a long comment short, I too am interested in becoming certified, 1st or 2nd level, and was wondering if you have any suggestions for the PA area for testing or supplemental training.
    I will continue to search the web, but as you are out here in the open I figured I would try you first.


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