Historically, a mason is somebody who knows and works with mortar. Brian Post is not a mason, he’s a waller. His specialty is dry-stacking stones, and aside from some simple hand tools, he does his job with the help of only friction and gravity. At age 32, Post is the youngest of seven DSWA-GB Master Craftsman-level wallers in North America, a certification earned through a traditional, years-long sequence of rigorous, time-consuming, and highly critical evaluations.
“The stones in a wall are trying their hardest to get to the center of the earth,” says Post. “It’s a waller’s job to defy that.”
Although the Vermont-based Stone Trust where Post earned his certification might, at first glance, be mistaken for a frivolous collection of hobbyists pursuing a skill with no modern utility, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s the mission of the Stone Trust to preserve and advance the art and craft of dry stonework not as some nostalgic indulgence, but because it outperforms modern methods in almost every way. This is how you build so it will last, because if built correctly, dry stone walls are more durable than their mortared and concrete-block descendants. This is how you build efficiently, because trained wallers build faster and are therefore less expensive than their popular veneered-block-wall-laying competitors.
As for Post, he says he will never get tired of stepping back at the end of the day and seeing his work, knowing it’s going to outlive him. “It gives you a real sense of purpose and satisfaction in life. Much more so than working on a computer, or anything else, I think.”