Weir Farm National Historic Site, the only National Park Service site dedicated to American painting, will host a two day, hands-on stone wall workshop on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 from 9am to 3pm. The workshop will be led by Master Craftsman Neil Rippingale of Dry Stone Conservancy, the only nonprofit organization in the country devoted to the preservation of historic dry stone masonry, with assistance from the park’s Natural and Cultural Resources Manager, Greg Waters. Rippingale has traveled the world building stone walls and is an engaging and informative instructor in dry stone wall building, restoration, and repair, and Waters has been successfully leading stone wall workshops at the Weir Farm National Historic Site for over a decade.
The workshop will be a rigorous training event where participants learn about and contribute to our nation’s incredible dry stone heritage of building enduring stone structures without any mortar. The workshop is designed for enthusiasts and masons with little to no previous dry stone experience who would like to gain a basic understanding of this beautiful and practical craft. The pace will be comfortable as participants learn the fundamental skills needed to repair and restore dry stone walls using native stone.
The workshop includes a brief classroom introduction to the “four basic principles and five golden rules” of dry stone construction followed by hands-on instruction. All participants will receive a copy of the Conservancy’s training manual, “Building and Repairing Dry Stone Fences & Retaining Walls.” The workshop is limited to twelve participants and advance registration is required by contacting Dry Stone Conservancy at (859)266-4807 for a registration form. The fee for the two day workshop is $200; a deposit of $100 is required to guarantee your spot. Participants should bring work gloves, sturdy footwear, clothing that is appropriate for outdoor work, a water bottle, and a brown bag lunch. Drinking water will be provided.
To learn more about the Dry Stone Conservancy, visit drystone.org.
For more information about Weir Farm National Historic Site, visit nps.gov/wefa or call (203)834-1896.