Monday was test day in Dummerston, Vermont for four candidates in the DSWA Craftsman Certification Scheme. Torbin Larsen , Mike Lapine and Joshua Barwick went for Level 1. Brian Post took his Level 2. Joshua’s stint was “timed out,” and therefore did not receive passing marks. All others were successful in achieving their goal. Holders of DSWA certificates are rightly proud. The seven hour window for building the required square footage of quality stone work is narrow at best. The time flies by, and so do the stones. It was a flurry of action right up to the whistle.
On Wednesday Andy Loudon and I drove to Kennebunkport, Maine to examine the “features” portion of Brian Fairfield’s Level 3 test. The “Advanced” test is in two parts; pieces of work crafted without time limitations, and, if they receive passing marks, a timed test of retaining wall construction. Brian’s curved free-standing wall, and “lunkie” (sheep hole through a wall) feature did not pass examination. The standard of excellence increases with each rise in test level, making the accumulation of pass marks that much more difficult. Andy and I believe that Brian has what it takes to move forward in the scheme. His walling has improved in the years since passing his Level 2 test, he has a thirst for learning all he can about the craft, and despite the disappointment of not passing the “features” portion after putting so much effort into his stints, he’s keeping on with a positive attitude. Thanks, Brian. And thanks for showing us the old granite quarry in the woods.