About Michael

Michael Weitzner of Thistle Stone Works, traces his love of working with stone to early childhood wall building with his Swiss grandfather. Michael was born in Switzerland and has lived in Spain, England, Scotland and the USA. Michael embarked on his journey as a professional dry stone waller after attending a Gaelic language class in Scotland.
His first full-time experience of dry stone work came when he was hired by Master Craftsman Neil Rippingale to assist with the construction of a dry stone house on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, an archipelago off the West Coast of Scotland. He later came to Vermont to assist his esteemed colleague Dan Snow on a wall. He met his wife Michelle while working on that same wall, and they settled in Vermont where Michael is now based. They have raised their daughter and various livestock on a small hill farm in West Brattleboro.
Michael holds a Master Craftsman certificate issued in 2003 by the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA-GB). He is dedicated to the preservation and growth of the challenging craft of dry stone walling and serves as a DSWA-GB Certified Instructor and an Assessor (Examiner) for the DSWA-GB’s certification program.

Training & Workshops

He is a founding member of The Stone Trust, created by Jared Flynn in 2010. Through The Stone Trust, Micheal leads training workshops at all levels, providing instruction in dry stone walling, both locally and in other regions. He regularly assesses candidates working their way up through the certification system through both The Stone Trust and DSWA. Michael also provides ongoing curriculum development and individual mentoring.

Historic Preservation Work

Michael has a strong interest in historic preservation and works to promote the use of best dry stone walling practices in public works. He has produced technical condition assessments of dry stone covered bridge abutments and stone arch bridges in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Quebec. Keeping these historic and time-tested structures in good repair is of great importance to Michael as the number of stone abutments and covered bridges decreases every year.


Michael’s work has been featured in New Old House magazine, Vermont Life magazine as well as the book ‘Good Fences’ by Bill Hubbell. Michael was a guest on HGTV's ‘Rebecca's Garden’ and he was one of the wallers in ‘Triumph of the Wall’, a film by Bill Stone. Michael has presented at international conferences, and his articles can be found in the newsletters of the Townshend Historical Society, Friends of Quabbin, the Stone Trust, and Hearting, the annual publication of The Stone Trust.