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Past, Present and Future of the Preservation Trades Network on its 25th Anniversary

What does the future hold for PTN? In a Keynote Roundtable moderated by Simeon A. Warren, we will bring together Ken Follet, Moss Rudley, and Andrea Sevonty to discuss where we came from, where we are, and where we want to go.


Blair Bates

Improper repointing can accelerate the deterioration of a historic structure. Learn about these pitfalls and more as we seek to understand the 16 steps to proper repointing. Then you will get to perform some repointing yourself.

Learning Objectives

  • Cause vs. effect of natural deterioration in mortars

  • Ingredients, timing, consistencies, and other factors of mortar mixes

  • Proper application of mortar in pointing various masonry

Chuck Jones and Dale Lupton

Chuck Jones and Dale Lupton will showcase the carved replica double Scottish rose that they produced as part of a White House Historical Association (The WHHA) Symposium in 2018. Both Chuck and Dale carved the rose over a few days as a collaboration project between Historic Environmental Scotland, the National Park Service and the White House Historical Association. This demonstration will cover the steps taken by both to take a detailed survey of the existing rose carving above the North Door of The White House, sourcing the original Aquia Creek sandstone as used by the Scots masons who built the white house in the 1790’s and the working steps to replicate the rose carving in a high relief carving style. Participants will have the chance to work a piece of Aquia Creek stone as used to build the White House.

Learning Objectives

  • Onsite and in-situ template making
  • Understanding sedimentary geology
  • High relief carving techniques
  • Stone tools and carving sequencing

Ken Follett

Much is commonly referenced in regard to doing woodwork by hand without power tools, but little focus is applied to traditional stone techniques. This session will show how to split, shape, and make round holes in stone without the use of power tools. Includes free story-telling from fifty years of experience.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn traditional non-power techniques of drilling holes in stone
  • Understand more of working with stone through personal hands-on experience
  • An appreciation of how work practices change over decades
  • Exposure to a career arc from drilling holes in stone by hand to sitting in an office with multiple computer screens.

MASS RULES: Why Traditional Brick Masonry Lasts and Lasts and Survives Sooooo, So Long
John Friedrichs

This session will demonstrate how to construct a three-brick wide wall. Participants will learn how traditional 3 brick thick masonry is constructed, different bonds employed, mortar composition, and why these techniques last sooooo long. Prepare for abundant stories from 37 years of repointing, rebuilding, and consulting.

Learning Objectives

  • How to construct a traditional three brick thick wall
  • Different bonds and their usage
  • Mortar striking and profiles
  • Mixing and applying mortars and plasters

ALONE WITH A STONE: The Thought Processes Involved in Cutting Stone
Innes Drummond

This session introduces the thought processes and practical applications of traditional stone hewing, from the initial drawing to creating templates to hewing architectural mouldings on stone. Attendees will get the chance to participate and learn the possibilities and limitations of working with stone and using traditional tools. There will be a discussion about Scottish stonemasonry conservation principles, comparing the materials found in Scotland and America, and time for questions and answers.

Learning Objectives

  • The principles of traditional stone cutting 

  • Conservation practices applied in traditional buildings 

  • How stone behaves as a material 

  • The thought processes involved in traditional craft and how a craftsperson navigates them

CONCRETE: Introduction to Repairs and Patching
Todd Carroll

This hands-on demonstration will show the process to patch and repair different types of historic concrete (exposed aggregate, fluted, formed architectural elements, color matching, texture matching etc.). Attendees are welcome to join in the patching process.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the need for repairs
  • Dissect the different materials in the concrete
  • Source repair materials
  • Install patch mortars in compliance with historic guidelines


Jeremiah Nichols

This session will demonstrate traditional lime slaking and its many uses. Participants will learn how to use slaked lime for plasters and mortars, traditional use of natural materials such as animal hair for added strength, and how to slake lime into a pit for future use.

Learning Objectives

  • Traditional lime slaking history, science, manufacture, and tooling

  • Use of Slaked Lime in various masonry applications

  • Observational evaluation of limestone mortar and plaster conditions

MARBLELOUS SCAGLIOLA: An Introduction to Marezzo Scagliola
Hayles and Howe

Scagliola is a skilled fine plaster technique to recreate the look of marble and other stones, coming into fashion in 17th century Tuscany. In this demonstration, the Hayles and Howe crew will demonstrate marezzo scagliola–also known as American scagliola. This technique works with pigmented plaster in a liquid state. They’ll demonstrate how to recreate and restore marezzo scagliola in historic buildings.

Learning Objectives

  • History and production of scagliola 
  • Techniques used in marezzo scagliola
  • Techniques used to recreate and restore scagliola
  • Material properties of scagliola mixtures, including plaster, cements, and pigments.

GET PLASTERED: Ornament and Mold Making
Hayles and Howe

Plasterwork has been a part of the building trades for nearly 10,000 years, adapting its materials and techniques through the centuries. In this demonstration, the Hayles and Howe crew will show how to make crown moldings and decorative plaster ornaments. Attendees will see how to prepare and execute bench-run molds and use rubber molds to recreate ornaments.

Learning Objectives

  • Material properties of decorative plasterwork
  • Preparation and execution of bench-run molds
  • How to to match profiles for recreation
  • Use rubber molds to cast ornaments


ARCHITECTURAL WOOD CARVING: Practical Geometry in Practice
John McRitchie

John McRitchie will demonstrate how to use practical geometry to lay out wood carving designs. Attendees will learn how to work with wood, understanding how the grain and pattern impact practice.

Learning Objectives

  • To use practical geometry in design
  • Materials science of wood
  • How to use different chisels to carve

Mark Segro

Preservation carpenters often find the need to reproduce short sections of moldings in the field on-site, with or without access to a full shop. Options include taking the molding to a millwork shop or producing yourself. If you do it yourself, do you have knives that match or do you need to get them custom-made? This is the most logical and practical option if you need long runs, but what do you do if you only need a few feet replicated? The session will show you how to be efficiently creative with tools on-hand to replicate shorter pieces of molding, using a combination of hand and power tools.

Learning Objectives

  • A brief overview of molding plane types, functionality, use, and advantages in preservation carpentry.

  • To develop profiles and layouts, how to break down profile and cut sequence, and how to prepare stock.

  • Basic table saw operations and how to safely alter and add to this tool to reproduce moldings.

  • How to rough out the profile on the table saw.

  • To use molding planes to finish the molding.

Thomas Dengler

In this session, Thomas will lead attendees through the process of wood identification–observing its grain, patterns, colors and other attributes–and how these properties guide their usage in historic structures.

Learning Objectives

  • Observe and identify different attributes of wood
  • Use these attributes to identify wood types.
  • Understand how different woods’ properties and handling influence their usage.
  • Learn about wood types and uses in historic structures.


I THINK I'M DYEING: Matching Old and New Wood
Rob Cagnetta

Old buildings age gracefully. The greater the wear and discolor the more we love them. This session will explore the world of manipulating wood to enhance beauty and blend. Getting the right tones and depth is daunting but never impossible. Learn how to use dyes, stains, acids and other colorants to achieve the impossible and never have a bad color day again.

Learning Objectives

  • To make and mix stains and dyes
  • The science and materials behind clear wood finishes
  • How to prepare testing and sample swatches–aka, how to screw up in private

Alyssa Fortune

The session will demonstrate how to blend old wood and new wood together to create a seamless piece. There will be a discussion of color theory, wiping stains, and touch up repairs in addition to how the color changes depending on lighting and the finish used.

Learning Objectives

  • Basics of color theory.
  • Understanding how wood, stain and finishes interact.
  • How to use and mix wiping stains.
  • How to complete touch up repairs on wood.

CARIBBEAN COVERAGE: Traditional Spanish and Danish, Plaster and Limewash Techniques
Dan Ritter and Jose Bastian

Dan and Jose will demonstrate on the application and purpose of the historic plaster and limewash process, as learned and experienced in the tropical environment of the Caribbean Island region.

Learning Objectives

  • Spanish and Danish limewash application in the Caribbean
  • Tropical environment lifespan and purpose
  • Application techniques
  • Mixture analysis and ratios


YOU LOOK STRAPPING TODAY: Traditional Door Hardware
Bridget Graff

Learn how to manipulate iron with forge, hammer, tongs, and anvil to create a strap hinge and other shapes of door hardware, while learning of the lesser-known history of women in the traditional trades.

Learning Objectives

  • Basic wrought iron techniques.
  • The physics of metal and blacksmithing.
  • History of women in the blacksmithing trades.
  • Step-by-step process of how to fabricate an authentic traditional hinge strap.

Jeffrey Forster

Learn about the properties of metal through different techniques and practices – making moldings using a break, restoring cast iron, removing paint from tin using a fire-hydrant. Jeffrey will describe how all types of metals move in their own way and to read those signs as you work with them. 

Seven processes of architectural blacksmithing

How different metals moves and can be manipulated based on specific techniques

Cleaning and stripping techniques of painted metals

How to 'read' and repair cast iron sculpture and architectural metal forms

Learning Objectives

  • Seven processes of architectural blacksmithing

  • How different metals moves and can be manipulated based on specific techniques

  • Cleaning and stripping techniques of painted metals

  • How to 'read' and repair cast iron sculpture and architectural metal forms



THE WHOLE SASH AND NOTHING BUT THE SASH: Restoring Window Sashes from Start to Finish
Window Preservation Alliance

In this special session, members of the Window Preservation Alliance will lead attendees through the full restoration process of sashes from the Beatty Cramer House in Frederick, Maryland. Documented and prepped during the window restoration workshop, conference attendees will learn about and get to participate in the full restoration during the full conference. This will include glazing, cutting glass, dutchman repairs, epoxy repairs, and priming and painting with linseed oil paint. The sashes will be restored to be reinstalled after the conference. This is an opportunity for attendees to get hands-on on different steps of wooden sash restoration

Learning Objectives

  • Identify parts of window sash and assess it for repairs
  • Learn about layout, cut, and installation of dutchman repairs
  • Use epoxies to perform minor repairs on wood
  • Reglaze window sashes

LINSEED PAINT: How the Past Can Save the Future
Michiel Brouns

Why does wood cladding last hundreds of years and suddenly, starting in the mid-twentieth century, begin to rot? Often modern materials and methods of the twentieth century that were meant to improve upon the past, have proved to be detrimental instead. As a part of this modern shift from traditional building materials, many thoughts about linseed oil paint these days are rooted in fundamental misunderstandings and misconceptions about the application and general nature of this time tested, natural, architectural material.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about linseed paint and how is it made
  • Learn its historical and modern uses
  • Understand the properties of linseed oil paint and how it can be used in modern contexts
  • Best practices for paint application

WAVY GLASS: When You Know You Know
Ian Scott

Ian Scott will demonstrate how to measure, cut, and handle glass, while touching on the history of glass-making, types of glass for restoration work, and modern methods of reproducing restoration glass. Attendees will get chances to work with glass and install them on the glazing for the Beatty-Cramer House window sashes.

Learning Objectives

  • Material properties of glass and how to cut it
  • Identify parts of window sash and assess it for repairs
  • Perform dutchman and epoxy repairs
  • Reglaze window sashes


NO BATTERIES REQUIRED: How to Use a Framing Square
John C. Moore

An introduction to the 16”x 24” steel rafter, or framing, square examining its tables and practical applications. The steel square as a functional builder’s calculator.

Learning Objectives

  • The names of the parts of the square, the differences in the ruled edges, the tables on the surfaces and their usage.
  • How to read the rafter tables and how to determine the length of a diagonal brace.
  • How to draw an octagon having equal sides within a square using the square and dividers. 
  • To read the Essex board foot table.

PRACTICAL GEOMETRY: Framing With a Compass
Jane Griswold Radocchia

Come draw! See how Serlio, Palladio, James Gibbs and William Buckland used Practical Geometry. This session will teach about the geometry of historic frames erected in the rural Northeast and compare that geometry with what was used in Virginia, Maryland, and Louisiana. Attendees will practice proportioning a steeple, plan a glass curtain wall without numbers, and generate a complete timber frame from one dimension and one length. This can all be done through the use of daisy wheels, the rule of thirds, the 3/4/5 rectangle for construction and design. You will wonder why they no longer teach this in high school. Compasses, straight edges, and paper will be provided. Bring a pencil!

Learning Objectives

  • Why and how geometry was practical; what they who used it wrote about it.

  • Learn how to draw a square with a compass, a straightedge and a scribe.

  • Learn how the Rule of Thirds divides your square into 3, 4, 5, or 6 equal rectangles.  

  • Learn how to turn your square into a building’s facade with columns and a pediment - without using numbers.  

  • Learn how to use a 3/4/5 triangle to lay out a wing for your building. 

GOT SHOTS? How to avoid crappy photos, and what you can do with good ones.
Tod Bryant and Ken Follett

Bring your smartphones! Photos help all of us to communicate to a wider audience the quality of our work. Really good photos show our passion, and sharing them through various media is a low-cost means of advertising and marketing to attract good customers. Your skill in a traditional trade will be enhanced with the skill to show remarkable photos of your work. Tod Bryant taught photography at the New School, in NYC for forty years. Ken Follett has for an equal amount of time wandered around on worksites taking photos. Together, this dynamic duo will show how to shoot a decent photo with what you already carry with you–a smart phone–and how to use phone editing to enhance what you have shot. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to shoot better photos. 
  • Learn about basic photo editing. 

  • Gain an appreciation of the art of photography as it relates to traditional building trades.

  • Various ways in which to promote your work with photos.

WHAT IS A HOUSE WITHOUT ITS YARD: Remote Sensing: Looking Under the Ground Without Digging
Scott Parker

What is a house without its yard? In historic research buildings are inseparable from their surrounding landscapes. In order to fully understand the site you need information from both the building(s) and landscape(s). The best way to accomplish this is through interdisciplinary research with restorationists and archaeologists working along side one another and sharing information. Unfortunately this is rarely practical or even possible for most projects. Consequently, this presentation/demonstration will provide information about maintaining historic landscapes while conducting potentially ground disturbing activities, like restoration (What we call Maintenance Archaeology). This year we will concentrate on remote sensing and how these various techniques can provide information about what lies beneath the ground without disturbing it. Remote sensing techniques displayed and discussed include: metal detecting, soil resistivity, areal photography and photogrammetry and LiDar. Demonstrations of the various techniques are planned but dependent on the limitations and restrictions of the venue.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss Archaeology and its role in preservation
  • How to preserve archaeological resources while conducting historic building restoration
  • Provide an introduction to remote sensing
  • Understand why to use remote sensing and what kinds of information can it provide

BEYOND HANDS-ON: Take Trades Training to the Next Level
Molly Ames Baker

What's the recipe for successful trades training and education? Many ingredients go into designing effective lessons to reach all learners. Through this bite-sized introduction to the Beyond Hands-On Instructor Training (BHIT) course, learn about how to expand your career into trades education. Get a taste of the Beyond Hands-On Learning Model--a flexible framework that’s engaging, digestible, welcoming and individualized for learners. Let's take trades training to the next level with this fresh approach!

Learning Objectives

  • Get a taste of the Beyond Hands-On Learning Model
  • Learn about a new opportunity to expand your career called BHIT: Beyond Hands-On Instructor Training
  • Learn about the ingredients for effective student learning
  • Think about why taking trades training to the next level matters

Molly Ames Baker

Connecting to the site is a foundational - and often forgotten - part of historic trades preservation. As tradespeople, it's easy to dive into the project without first getting grounded where we are. At what cost? The site/resource can become a scenic backdrop to the task at hand. By making time to develop our own "sense of place", we can create context and more meaning for our work. At every historic site, there is the possibility of tapping into the passion and tradition of the tradespeople who came before. During this hands-on, heads-on, hearts-on workshop, we will walk-through some essential theory and then try out several options for getting connected to Haggert Farms. Whatever your trade and wherever your next project takes you, walk away with some new "sense of place" tools to add to your toolbox!

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how the "Sense of Place Arc" overlays with the NPS Guiding Principles of historic trades preservation 
  • Identify examples of when/how historic sites become a scenic backdrop 
  • Try several simple ways to get connected to Hargett Farm 
  • Reflect on why developing a sense of place is worthwhile in your own practice



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Preservation Trades Network
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Bennington, VT 05201-9614

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