Upcoming Dry Stone Wall Building Workshop in Connecticut

Stonewall Building Workshop
Andrew Pighills, and additional instructors
Two-day workshop limited to 16
Apr. 28-29, 2012
Tuition: $300
Registration deadline: March 6, 2012

Learn what it takes to build a dry stone wall from Dry Stone Walling Association–certificate qualified wallers. Build a free-standing wall by applying four basic principles and employing a few simple techniques. From “founds” to “throughs” to “copes,” each stage in the construction will be explained and demonstrated. Participants will strip out an existing wall, prepare a base, and build up a double-faced wall using native stone. This is a great chance to try something new or fine-tune skills you already have.

The workshop is a two-day event, Sat. April 28th and Sun., Apr. 29th, 2012 and will be held at Stonewell Farm, 39 Beckwith Road in Killingworth, Connecticut. All instruction is on an individual basis. Pre-registration is required, as the workshops fill up quickly and enrollment is limited to 16 participants.

To register, contact:
Michelle Becker, Workshop Administrator
e-mail: mb@mbeckerco.com
Tel. 860-322-0060

Stone Wall Building Workshop in Vermont

Saturday-Sunday, September 17-18 (Two-day Workshop)

8:30 am-4:00 pm

Instructors: Jared Flynn, Andrew Pighills

Location:   Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont

Participants and instructors at dry stone walling workshop

Sponsered by The Stone Trust, this two-day hands-on workshop is designed to teach homeowners and tradespeople the structural techniques involved in building and restoring a historic field stone wall. The outdoor classroom provides the setting for practicing proper dry stone walling methods including safety, batter, hearting, throughs, and coping. Included in the workshop will be the age-old technique of splitting stone by use of pin and feathering. Knowledge gained will prepare students for their own projects and help train their eyes to identify proper walling techniques in all walls.
Cost: $300
To register: contact Zon Eastes, 802.380.9550

Shoretalk Features Andrew Pighills

Shoretalk with Andrew airs:

Weds., July 21st, 7:30 pm Channel 19, Public Access Channel

Monday, July 19, 2010

Producer, Belinda Jones has put together a new cable program, with host Dr. Kathleen Skoczen, called “Shoretalk; People, Trends and Lifestyles”. In May, following the very successful Dry Stone Walling Workshop at the Parmelee Farm, Belinda asked Andrew if he would appear on the show to talk about the workshop and dry stone wall building in general. They taped in June and the program will air this Wednesday, July 21st, at 7:30 pm on our local Cable Public Access Channel 19.

Belinda Jones is a dynamic woman whose vast experience in marketing and public relations has fine-tuned her ability to connect the dots and find the interesting stories that enrich our lives here along the Connecticut Shoreline. Dr. Kathleen Skoczen hosts the program with intelligence, enthusiasm and insight. I hope you’ll share this post with your shoreline friends and invite you to watch the program this Wednesday evening. For those who don’t have access to our local channels, Andrew has added some photos of the walls that were completed during the last workshop and, in particular, two special features; the lunkie and the stile.

The 'lunkie' in the Parmelee farm wall

Stile in the wall

The stile in the Parmelee Farm wall

Parmelee Farm Walls Rising

Strength in numbers…


Spring 2010 Dry Stone Workshop Group Photo

Spring 2010 Dry Stone Workshop Group Photo

Under clear blue skies and breezy 68 degree temperatures,  23 workshop participants from 5 New England states put up 75 linear feet of a 4′ tall dry stone wall in less than 2 days at the Parmelee Farm here in Killingworth. Instructors Andrew Pighills, Dan Snow, Chuck Eblacker and Brian Fairfield worked side by side with students to impart their considerable cumulative knowledge of the art and science of building stone structures without mortar and seemed to have a good time doing it.

From left to right, instructors Brian Fairfield, Andrew Pighills (background), Chuck Eblacker (in the lunkie) and Dan Snow.

The dry stone walling workshop began at 9:00 am and Dan introduced a ‘stone circle’ exercise in which he asked each participant to select a stone that appealed to them and place it in a the circle that he’d etched in the ground. He then encouraged each member, instructors included, to comment on their selection and this provided a creative means to learn about the participants and their individual interests in and attraction to working with stone.

Participants comprised a very diverse group unified by a shared interest in working with one of New England’s most abundant natural resources; fieldstone, in one of our most traditional and agrarian activities, wall-building. Enthusiasm was contagious as future dry stone ‘wallers’ fanned out across the expanse of the gravel foundations and heaps of stone that Andrew, and assistant’s Eben Whitcomb III and Julia McCurdy, had prepared, and dove into the heavy lifting with such instinctual and intuitive purpose that one was reminded more of a colony of bees than a workshop.

Within the time frame of 12 hours an astonishing 75′ of wall had been completed. The structure included two distinctly traditional farm wall features; a lunkie, (shown left under which Chuck Eblacker crouches) traditionally employed to permit sheep to pass from one pasture to another while restricting the meanderings of larger equine and bovine livestock, and a stile, a series of steps through a wall which enable a person to pass from one pasture to the next while restricting livestock in general. By 3:30 pm on Sunday, May 16th a jubilant and probably exhausted crowd of 30 broke into applause as the last capstone was laid on the newly restored Parmelee Farm wall. Bravo to all of you!! Well done!