Stone of Arc actively promotes traditional techniques
Stone of Arc provides a rare opportunity for people in the Oceania and Asia regions to learn the dry stone construction methods developed over millennia across the northern hemisphere. A full range of courses is offered to satisfy everyone from hobbyists to gurus.
Our Training Centre
Set on farmland in the foothills of Mount Arthur near Wellington, NSW, and including a covered training area, Stone of Arc’s purpose-built dry stone training centre is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
Our training structures are all built to Dry Stone Wall Association (DSWA) UK test standards comprising different types of stone and incorporating all the styles and features required to advance from beginner through to expert.
To ensure the highest standards are met, all courses are delivered by certified DSWA UK instructors, and all levels of training align with DSWA UK structural principles. For those wishing to pursue accreditation, examinations will be conducted by accredited DSWA UK examiners.
Accommodation can be booked during the course booking process or you can take a look and book from here.
Our Training Courses
For most people taking an Introductory training course is the best place to start. Even those with some experience may benefit from revisiting the fundamental principles.
Courses provide participants with a clear understanding of the theory and principles of dry stone work, specific techniques, and a metre each of wall to build.
All courses run from 9:30AM-4:30PM for 2 days unless otherwise stated. For participants benefit regular courses are limited to 10 people and demand driven courses are limited to 8.
A reasonable level of experience or completion of an Introductory course is a prerequisite for further courses and practice events.
Stone of Arc provides the following for all course types:
- An appropriately qualified instructor
- Tools, safety glasses, and sun protection
- Lunch, refreshments, and reusable water bottle
- Alfresco pizza night with your walling chums
- Discounted bed and breakfast options
- A certificate of completion
- Course information booklet
- Access to ongoing project support
Participants are required to bring:
- Hat, gloves, and strong footwear (preferably steel-toed)
- The desire to get dirty, learn and create!
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Regular TRAINING Courses
Our introductory courses provide participants with enough knowledge and experience to be able to accurately identify traditional walling methods accurately, commence a basic private project, and pursue further learning.
All walls need to start and end somewhere so understanding the fundamentals and significance of a cheekend (or wall head) is vital to any construction you might aspire to create.
Building on previously attained skills, this course focuses on the fundamentals of constructing a curve.
This course focuses on the fundamentals of constructing a retaining wall. Retaining walls are built in a way that enables them to hold back earth and rock.
Demand Driven TRAINING Courses
In addition to all the elements of the standard Introduction to Dry Stone Walling course, this option covers specific tips for women in a supportive and exclusively female environment.
Typically used as a stock control feature (enabling sheep to pass where cattle can’t), lunkys can also be used to straddle waterways or other obstacles.
This course focuses on appropriately stepped foundations, equidistant placement of through-stones, horizontal coursing, and self-supporting placement of cope stones.
Stone of Arc facilitates events for people to practice and develop their dry stone skills
This course focuses on the fundamentals of constructing a square corner. You will develop your skills in accurately selecting and placing stones to tie both sections of wall together with an even inner and outer batter.
This course allows participants to learn and practice the construction techniques of both a step-stile and a squeeze-stile.
This course introduces the use of a former. You will learn how to create and set up a former, how to build over it, and remove it.
Pillars are an attractive addition to a wall head or gateway. This course focuses on the integration of quoins and methods to maintain a vertically accurate and stable structure.
Here we have an opportunity to move away from standard coursed horizontal walls and apply the same fundamental principles to random stone placement and vertical stone placement.
Accreditation Courses and Test Events
For those who aspire to become a qualified or professional dry stone waller, or to have their existing skills and experience formally recognised, we offer a range of test-specific features and pre-test preparation courses for all four levels of the DSWA UK Craftsman Certification Scheme. Test events will take place on the final day of test preparation courses. Applications for tests must be submitted 6 weeks prior to a test event. Register your interest or call us for a discussion.
In addition to numerous courses on structures pertinent to the certification scheme, we offer test preparation courses that provide detailed insight into the standards required by the DSWA UK. We also look at ways to improve your speed and efficiency for the timed test elements and offer significant pre-test practice opportunities to prepare you for success.
In the presence of the examiner/s, candidates are required to strip down and rebuild a straightforward free-standing 2.5 square metre section of wall within a single 7 hour period.
This certificate is the first professional level qualification in the DSWA UK Craftsman Certification Scheme.
This certificate has two parts which must be conducted separately and in order.
This certificate has two parts which must be conducted separately and in order. Candidates must hold the Advanced Level 3 Certificate before applying for this certificate.
For people holding Intermediate Level 2 certification or above, an online Instructor Training Course is available.
A range of rustic onsite accommodation is available from double/triple rooms to camping (all with shared bathroom).