Thursday, May 2, 2013

Levels of acheivement

Kenny Tauch has been our east coast field director 
with Dry Stone Walling Across Canada for the last 5 years.

Kenny wrote recently to tell us he passed his DSWA level three Part B timed test. We would like to congratulate him. I am posting some of his work today with a description he wrote for us of the various elements of his test.  The photos below show what a fine job he did and what a skilled waller he has become.  

I first met Kenny some years ago when I was asked to teach at a dry stone wall workshop that he was planning to host in his home town of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. He was very eager to learn and and had lots of questions for me about walling. 

His level of skill was demonstrated  in 2010 when he came to our Festival of Stone in Landon Bay Park Ontario to be tested for his intermediate level certification and passed easily.


"This Advanced Level 3 Part B test was taken at the Stone Trust in Dummerston Vermont. A strip and rebuild of 4.5sq meters of retaining wall in 7 hours, no corners required. This particular wall stands about 4' to the base of the copes with one row of troughs at mid-hight. If you look REALLY closely you might make out the blue chalk lines which delineated the limits of the rebuild; the blue chalk stayed untouched and everyting in-between was removed and rebuilt. 

The material is comprised of a variety of types from local sources, mostly field stone with some nice granite through stones."

"The Level 3 Part A feature was built at our stone yard in Pynn's Brook, NL July 2012.  It meets the required special features of high wall and curve and is 10 square meters of face on the outside of the curve.  It has a scarcement about 11" deep sitting on a solid sand base. From the top of this footing the wall stands 7' tall with a batter of 6:1. It has 3 staggered courses of through stones 1m apart. If i remember correctly its weight was calculated somewhere around 22 tons."

"The stone is similar to Pennsylvania Bluestone (a hard sandstone high), which we quarried from the Fished Hills in the Newfoundland Appalachians.  The odd looking cope stones are a load-cast feature which was split in half using feathers and wedges.  One end of the wall is left open as there are plans to extend the wall this summer."

"The Sunken Firepit was built several years ago now and remains among my favored pieces of work. It is made of the same Fisher Hills Bluestone. I like this piece mostly for the intimate functional space it creates.   The smaller wallstone with the large slab benches and paving create a nice blend and contrast in shape and subtle colour."

It is encouraging to see workmanship and levels of achievement here in Canada  coming about in such an unostentatious way.