Type of Workshops

Type of workshops offered at Rockin Walls Training Center

Fundamental Building Skills workshop  All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 1-Day  8:30 am - 4:30 pm  
Mark Jurus (Maryland) Advanced (Level 3) DSWA-GB - Journeyman (Level 2) DSC-US/ Instructor DSWA-GB.

This is our most in demand workshop every year. We highly recommend this workshop to everyone even if you're a contractor. Learn all about different wall frames, how to use them, build them and why you need them. What is a batter and why. This workshop will be hands on how to build 2 styles of foundations with the best tools for the job. Basic overview of tools of the trade. How and when to best use them and with what types of stone. Last but not  least how to read stone and how to put it to the best use. Hands on sorting and palletizing material. 

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!!!.... Assessing Space, Planning, and Wall terminology. Learning the Fundamentals are the starting point for any waller. A skill set which will be needed for any project regardless of size. 

I created this course because I believed you can't read this in a book and understand the most important parts of walling. "The Back End". Rockin Walls was the first to offer this workshop in 2016 in the US. - Why because you can't begin to spell words if you don't understand the alphabet. Don't belittle the basics. You'll be ready to rock at any future workshops. Accelerating learning is priceless. 

Note: This workshop is 50/50 How To vs Hands On. Remember you can't learn it all in a day.


Retaining Wall Workshop, All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 2-Day

• Freestanding Wall Workshop All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 2-Day

Freestanding Wall Workshop is an introduction into the basic skills of Dry Laid Stone Construction. This workshop is one of the most commonly taught classes worldwide. Over two days we will cover the proper fundamental methods outlined by the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain DSWA-GB. 

Are you considering the path of certification? Understand why you should in the video below by Brian Post DSWA Examiner Master Craftsman.  The freestanding wall workshop is the place to start your journey.  You will learn the proper process of what is involved in a DSWA level 1 test by strip out and rebuild of a freestanding wall. (DSWA Level 1 6'L x 4'.5" H wall stripped out and rebuilt in 7 hours.)  A workshop is a great place to work at a comfortable pace learning the steps for success. 

All workshops are a simple and easy pace with no heavy lifting, plenty of stone and a beautiful scenic environment with horses grazing in the background. 

What you will learn:

• Proper dry laid stone methods
• Strip out, organizing and rebuilding of existing wall 
• Sorting and selecting the right stone for the right place
• Basic tools - overview & demonstration - Hammer and Chisels
• Feather and wedging overview & demonstration (great technique for making caps, tie stones, steps and much more)
• Walking Tour of on-site examples of dry laid stone walls (discussion) 
• Safety, tools, worksite, equipment
• Possible Demo & Operation of Mini Skid Steer (participation is optional)
• Optional - Slideshow presentation Saturday end of day (Dependent on interest level)

Stone type: Flat bedded sandstone local to region. Wall stone including Laurel Mountain, Colonial Blue Stone and PA fieldstone to name a few.

This workshop is also great for those who are interested in Retaining Walls. A freestanding wall is the same fundamental principles. 

(Note: this workshop will be a strip out and rebuild of an existing wall. Some tools will be covered in this workshop.)

• WOW - Women Only Workshop All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 2-Day
Freestanding Wall special weekend  2 day workshop designed specifically for women. Alongside other women interested in the craft of dry laid stone, you will learn the necessary skills to build a 4' Freestanding wall with PA Fieldstone/ West Mountain Stone along with other local stone. PA fieldstone is a local stone to our region which can be purchased at any stone yard in and around the surrounding states. Introductory workshops will teach the basics of a 4 foot freestanding dry laid stone wall. "Try Before You Buy Tools"

Flatwork / Steps Workshop , All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 1-Day
The first flatwork / steps workshop offered in the US at RW Training Center 2016.  With Colonial Bluestone from our sponsor Balducci Stone Yard @ Maryland line.  Hand picked from their New York Quarries.

The focus of the workshop was based on teaching:
•  base materials used in different applications
• 2 types of stone Colonial Bluestone - 1) Squares and Rectangles 2) Irregular standup
• Multiple methods of edging
• Equipment / Tools which will maybe demonstrated, Grabo Suction Tool, gas cut off saw, feather and wedges with a hammer drill, stone splitter.
• Safety of equipment / tool handling and operation.
• Tricks and tips of basic tools for the job
• How to draw your own square and rectangles - pattern
• Determining dig depth for excavating
• Information coving Sub-base, Base, Sand/Gravel

Steps Workshop
• Different styles of steps, double and single
• Rise, Run, Tread, Fall
• Equipment / Tools which will maybe demonstrated, Grabo Suction Tool, gas cut off saw, feather and wedges with a hammer drill, stone splitter.
• Safety of equipment / tool handling and operation.
• Tricks and tips of basic tools for the job

• Stone Shaping / Stone Dressing Workshop,  All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 1-Day

This Workshop will help the participant look carefully at the stone before choosing it for a specific use. This helps increase productivity and the economy of effort.

• There are many ways in which we can mark stone, this will be described and demonstrated throughout the workshop.
• Which Hammer should I use? What is its purpose? When should I use it? Which one should I buy? All part of the workshop.
• Which Chisel should I use? What is its purpose? When should I use it? Which one should I buy? Again, all part of the workshop.
• Using Diamond Blade Saws and Diamond tipped Grinders, Do’s and Don'ts.
• Working on Banker Benches, design and ease of use and practicalities.
• Texturing Stone for a finished surface.
• Tips on Drilling Stone including Feather and Wedge...and so much more!

• Shaping workshop, Hand Tools, Power tools, feather wedging and so much more!
(Note: YOU MUST HAVE - PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for this workshop.  Safety and use of this equipment is of paramount importance during the workshop.)

Advanced Workshops
• Contractor Workshop Vertical Walling Styles 2 -Day
The Contractor workshop will involve, two walling styles Vertical Walling along with building with Irregular Random Stone. Structures will incorporating building special features such as lintels over tree roots, Obstacles such as boulders and much more.  Neil will explain the When, Where and How to Build with Stone on angle and vertical, demonstrations and the opportunity to cut and shape stone including tool maintenance and using the right tool for the right task at hand. Bonus add ons may include thermal stone, feather and wedges, the use of construction equipment. The workshop may not be limited to the content listed above. The assessment along with wish list included for sign up will dictate the pace, speed and level of this workshop. You won’t be disappointed.  "Try Before You Buy Tools"

• Cheekend 2 -Day
(Note: you must have your own PPE, along with tools for shaping and dressing stone)
A cheekend / (wall head) is the most common way to end a wall.  Cheekends are one of the most important first features to learn. This two day workshop will cover strip out, rebuild and the proper method to finish off the end of a wall. In this workshop you will be partnered up with one other person to take on a traditional freestanding wall cheekend. You will learn how to tie the end back into the wall along with understanding how to pick, choose and make the stones you need to make it right! This workshop will also cover the setting up of a wall frame. This workshop is great for those gearing up for their Level 2 DSWA Certification. 

In 2014 Rockin Walls Training Center - hosting the first Dry Stone Workshops (dry stack) in Maryland. Focused on the fundamentals to build a proper Dry Laid Stone Wall.  If you've never taken a workshop now you can without losing a 2 days of drive time.

Why: I (Mark Jurus) have been walling since 2007 and have worked with some of the best stone masons in the world. I'm currently dual certified by the DSC USA and DSWA UK

I felt a need for local workshops that would help people who are interested in the craft of dry laid stone learn without having to travel 7-10 hours. By teaching others the craft of dry laid stone, I continue to pass on a life skill to generations that follow. Learning a craft is not only gratifying but helps to preserve the beauty of our environment using natural stone from mother earth.

Who: Anyone interested in learning the craft of dry laid stone construction. The workshop will focused on those who have little or no experience however experienced masons / hardscapers may find this beneficial as refresher course or as an additional service to offer their clients.
Introductory workshops will teach the basics of a 4 foot freestanding dry laid stone wall using PA fieldstone mixed with other local stones.

The workshop will also teach the basic principles and rules to help guide you in the understanding of the fundamentals of building any dry laid stone construction correctly. Yes without Mortar!

For those of you who would like to build a retaining wall this is a great place to start. Just like learning how to spell words you must first learn the alphabet. 


All workshops require Team Work. You will be building next to or around others.  Requiring good communication and conscientious safety habits.

~ For those who may not have their own basic mason tools, I will lend you a set for use during the workshop. Do not buy tools for these events. "TRY BEFORE YOU BUY" Tools.  See Our Sponsors Below.

Contractor Workshops are designed for students who have already taken a dry laid stone workshop or have previous masonry experience. These workshops require a bit more speed and energy.

Rockin Walls Is The ONLY Training Center in North America with "TRY BEFORE YOU BUY" Tools program. **

• CUSTOM GROUP WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE! Custom workshops available to fit your group's needs. No other training center offers the opportunity to work with you to meet your dates and groups needs. As a business owner I know how hard it can be to find time with hectic schedules. 

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