Workshops & Lectures

The stonemason must have some knowledge of all aspects of the stonework trade, from quarrying, stone cutting, stone carving to setting stone. Additionally he must be adept at basic carpentry, and understand the principles of building construction, roofing, plumbing, etc.

Historically the trade of masonry was passed down from masters to apprentices and there is still no better method of learning. Book and classroom knowledge is a good start but after you’ve read the book, taken the class and watched the video you will still need to put your hands on a stone and begin. Mark Mendel began teaching his craft in 1976 when Fran Merritt, of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, asked him to teach a class for Haystack at Paolo Solari’s, Arcosanti in Arizona. To this day he has continued to pass on his extensive knowledge in hands-on workshops, seminars and lectures. To discuss booking a masonry workshop, or to be contacted about his current schedule contact us.

Past Classes:

Step Stones, Pathways and Coping

Flatwork is the focus of this workshop: paving with stone and brick for terraces, walkways, paths, and garden edging. Watch a demonstration and participate in construction of a brick pathway using an unusual historic Italian design. Learn how to evaluate a project and choose the best material for the foundation for any type of flatwork including rock walkways, terraces and patios constructed of a wide array of materials and stone steps. All questions are answered in this popular workshop.

Understanding Hardscape

Consider the underlying principles of hardscape and how to integrate stone features into the garden setting, including siting and building stonewalls, designing and constructing retaining structures, installing stone steps, pathways, copings, and terraces. This course offers two evening lectures and one full day of hands-on experience constructing a dry stonewall and installing a brick pathway.

Masonry for landscapers

Often landscapers go from plantings into stonework at a customers’ request, with landscapers trying to figure out techniques as they go. This can lead to some pretty rude stonework that reflects poorly but permanently on the landscapers’ business.

Recently we have been asked to run workshops for various landscaping businesses. We can design a workshop to meet the specific need for yourself or your employees, whether it’s landscape, stonework, wet work, fireplace, or restoration.

Masonry for kids

Recently our neighbors at Berkshire School asked us to do a stone workshop. We worked with the students to create a stone circle of benches in the woods that would become a permanent outdoor classroom.

The kids seemed to like the hard work and the hands on activity. Stonework may be a vehicle to visit other subjects: History, Ecology, Geology, Architecture, Art, etc.

Some past lectures:

  • Urban/Rural/Urban. Lecture
  • March 4,  2004. Public Art Forum.
  • Graduate Program in Public Art Studies,
  • University of Southern California
  • Discussion of stonework in New England, Apprenticeship, and current projects at the Stone Foundation Symposium, Santa Fe, NM Spring 2003.
  • Stone and Text in Sculpture & Gravestones: at the Spencertown Academy, Spencertown, NY Summer 2002. Apprenticeship


From time to time Monterey Masonry takes on motivated individuals ready to learn and work at the highest level of the masonry trade.

Candidates must be smart, neat, reliable hard workers, non-smokers with a clean driving record, great references and zero substance issues. Candidates must be mature and ready to seriously commit to a career-building opportunity.

We Offer

  • a full time, year round paid apprentice position on interesting projects
  • health plan
  • paid vacation
  • steady, hard work with a great team of loyal co-workers
  • hands-on training in all aspects of the masonry trade

For more information on our apprenticeship program contact us.


We have completed jobs from Maine to Puget Sound. Yes we travel. We’ll bring our tools and our crew wherever you are.

But sometimes a few consultations are all that’s needed. We are available on a daily or weekly basis, to discuss any masonry issues with you and your architect.

For instance, you might have a great mason but he isn’t familiar doing the kind of restoration you want. Maybe he’s never built a Rumford fireplace. Perhaps you want your place pointed with lime mortar and he’s never worked with it. Or perhaps he can’t find the materials you want at the local lumberyard.

We can visit your site, work with your mason on techniques and sourcing materials. We can follow up during construction to see how things are going.

Consulting with us may simplify something that’s been puzzling you. Is this fireplace original? Partially original? Can it be restored? A consultation may prevent the future disappointment of spending a bunch of money and getting less than the hoped for results.

For more information on consultations contact us.