The short answer is, a lot. We’ve all seen the drawing of the rugged fur-clad caveman proudly showing off his stone wheel. That’s not quite right but it’s widely thought that the first wheel came about in 3500 BC, and was used as a potter’s wheel. Chances are, it was a stonemason that invented it though. Beyond this epic invention, stonemasons are responsible for pretty much every ancient monument and building we still see today. Imagine honing the giant standing stones such as Stonehenge and the Easter Island Heads with just hammers and chisels? Moreover, what about the thousands of perfectly shaped blocks that make up the Pyramids? Yep, stonemasons have shaped our past.
Stonemason’s of the 21st Century
Today, stonemasons perform a huge range of tasks. Even with the rise of modern building and civil engineering techniques, their services are still in demand. At it’s most basic, the definition of stonemasonry is, ‘shaping irregular pieces of rock into accurate shapes for building and/or decoration, and assembling the resulting rock to build structures’. In reality, the stonemason is a mix of creativity, skill and sheer strength. Throw in the ability to read complex plans, climb large buildings and work hard in any weather, and your starting to get the picture.
The Many Types of Stonemason
Stonemason is a general term for many more specialist roles. Basically, the work and job titles range from big rocks to smaller rocks. For example, the Quarryman is at the big end. He splits rock from the ground. Next is the Sawyer Mason. He takes the larger stones and shapes them to the required shape using diamond-toothed cutting tools. The Banker Mason is next in line. He’ll hone the rock further usually to the actual building requirements. A Carver Mason uses artistic flare to form ornamental structures and patterns. Lastly, the Fixer Mason builds stone into buildings, as structural elements or as decorative stone cladding.
Stonemasons for Garden and Building Improvements
A stonemason creates beautiful stone walls, intriguing garden pathways, stone outhouses and extensions, and functional but elegant stone retaining walls. If you’re interested in investing in a stone structure, then contact your local stonemason and discuss the many great options to shape your future landscape.