Last month, Steve Bolognese and Danny McCarthy from the International Masonry Institute (IMI) hosted Payette’s Young Designers Core for Bricklayers Training at the International Union Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen Local No. 3 Boston Training Center in Dorchester, MA. Nearly 30 young designers from the office split into two groups to attend the training sessions.
Steve began the day with a lunch-and-learn session that introduced IMI, the masonry detailing resources available on IMI’s website and the professional education and certifications provided by the Boston Training Center. The professional trainings prepare individuals for careers in masonry, tile work and historic preservation.
Steve shows the group an historic preservation practice wall
After lunch, Steve and Danny showed us the training rooms in which instructors provide hands-on training to novice masons. There, we would do our best impressions of the trainees. Danny gave us a safety primer then showed us the local brick buttering technique. This involves a push-pull-scoop technique of the mortar, which is then troweled onto one brick that is subsequently laid. The alternative technique, common in most parts of the country, involves troweling a long section of mortar onto a wall and then laying bricks into it. Danny encouraged us to adopt the local method.
Danny instructing the group at a bricklayer training wall
Next, it was time to try our hands at bricklaying, so we paired-up, set our levels and mimicked the push-pull-scoop that we had just learned. Our walls began with a few stretcher courses, then, (with Steve and Danny’s assistance) moved to more advanced patterns that included soldier courses, corbeling and relief patterns. Our workmanship improved throughout the afternoon. Still, it demonstrated our inexperience.
A big thanks to Steve and Danny for their instruction as we were humbled by the challenging work executed by skilled masons.