How did you get started?

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How did you get started?

Postby karlos » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:28 pm

I'm interested to learn how some of you wallers got started in the industry. To give you a little info about my current situation, i'm 36 working full time but trying to train and setup my own business (eventually) as a Drystone Waller. I am very interested to know how you made the leap from working full time (if you did) to working as a waller. At the moment i'm struggling to find time to train and considering packing in my job and to plunge head first into as many practice days as I can get on with the Otley & Yorkshire Dales Branch of the DSWA, whilst taking on a part time job somewhere.

If there is anybody in my locality looking for a part time walling apprentice or even full time get in touch! but in the meantime I would love to hear your stories.
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby Stoneinspired » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:22 pm

It's a good idea to spend some time working for other wallers before chucking in your current career. Make sure that you want to become a waller first! it's not all glamour you know. Lots of cold days, crappy stone, annoying clients, days of no work, poor weather... As well as all of the good stuff too!

Make as many contacts as you can, and just be prepared to learn.
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby karlos » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:11 pm

Totally agree with everything you've said! i'm interested to know what the glamour of walling is? :D in my case, going through that process already and have one client (a family friend) who is letting me practice on a boundary wall which i've been doing over the winter. -2!
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby ETStone » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:42 pm

Hello, I've been a regular reader of this forum for a while now (it's great) - but this will be my 1st posting...

Here's how I started...
I started working full time as a waller in October 2011. Before this i was working full time as a graphic designer in Glasgow but knew that drystone walling was what I wanted to do most!

I initially went on a beginners training course over 2days run by the West of Scotland Branch of DSWA in 2007 and then another weekend course a few months later run by a working waller in the Glasgow area. At the time I really enjoyed these courses and found it very satisfying but didn't think it was possible to make a go of it as a full time job ( I was scared I suppose... :? ) So roll on a few years (2010) I was still working as a graphic designer but still had an incline to build dry stone walls. So I decided to join the West of Scotland Branch as a member and become involved in their branch projects over the season (March - September). It was here that I learnt how to put into practise what the training courses teaches and gave me experience on different projects and working with many experienced wallers. From here we ended up re-locating to Aberdeenshire in late 2010 (for girlfriends job) and I continued to work in Glasgow and reduced my hours to a 4 day week. I began to get bits of walling work in Aberdeenshire most of which came via the wanted section of this website and off shots from this. I was then asked to quote for quite a large job (approx 50m) in the summer last year and decided that this was enough work in advance to go full time as a waller....

Now 3+ months on I'm really enjoying my work as a waller and find it very satisfying and rewarding and now coming to the end of my 2nd contract. I'm still trying to get used to being my own boss and using my time effectively especially on poor weather days when I can't build and when I should be busy marketing myself.... :D or doing my books :?

Anyhoo, I hope this gives you a wee insight into how I got started.
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby karlos » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:15 pm

Fantastic to hear from someone who has taken the step into full time walling, and from the same industry i'm in too! Glad to hear your making a success of the business and wish you well for the future. It's strange how many people I have spoken to who were once in the creative industry as a designer or similar!
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby ETStone » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:41 pm

Thanks Karlos
It's still a very creative process i suppose which must be an attraction for many, and at the end of your day you can stand back and admire your work - without the screen looking back at you!
All the best on your journey.
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby Gordon » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:02 pm

Where abouts are you based Karlos?
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby karlos » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:56 am

I'm based just outside Otley, West Yorkshire LS16.
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby Gordon » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:37 pm

Karlos, if you want to come out for a day with me then you're welcome to if it helps. My work's all in Lancs (Burnley/Rossendale at the moment) so would probably be just a tiny bit over an hour away from you. Talking to other wallers helped me loads when getting going, i still do it all the time, I always pick stuff up from other people and ask lots of questions.
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Re: How did you get started?

Postby karlos » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:01 am

Hi Gordon, that would be great! Yes i'm definately interested Rossendale area isn't that far like you said only an hour or so, so no problem at all.
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