Stonemasons are a strange breed. On one hand, they need to be tough, resilient, and powerful manual workers to handle the unforgiving materials of their trade. On the other, they need to be gentle, delicate artisans with an eye for aesthetics. The more in demand a stonemason becomes is usually a sign that his or her creative abilities have been noted. To know the stone is one thing, but to create art within that stone is where the true genius lies.
The origins of this noble profession are untraceable, but, more so than any other craft, the great stone works of the past endure to this day as a testament to the skill and dedication of the men who built them. The fantastic accomplishments of these ancient craftsmen are still viewed with wonder all over the globe. From the glorious artwork of Mesopotamia and Persia to the grand public forums of the Greeks and Romans. From the impossibly difficult projects of the Aztecs and Egyptians to the fabulously ornate palaces and cathedrals of Western Europe. The world has been enriched by an artistic profession which shows no sign of stopping.
Indeed, there has rarely been such a demand for high-quality stonemasons. In Australia, the need for building, restoration, and memorial work have ensured the livelihood of this industry for decades to come. Stone seems to be, as it always has been, the first choice material for tombstones, gravestones, and mausoleums, as well as public and civic buildings, and monuments. The enduring quality of stone gives it an unquestionable place in the hearts and minds of the public and it seems a rather odd thought to imagine a burial site using anything but stone. Also, the sustainability of popular memorial stones like marble and granite are easily maintained for the medium and long-term future. Supplies of this material are generally sourced in India, China, and Norway, providing a stable livelihood for many thousands of workers worldwide.
The environmental effects of quarrying for stone have been a source of controversy in recent years mainly due to noise and air pollution, waste products, and effects on biodiversity. However, modern regulation and international standardization have made the process much cleaner with most of the quarried material being used throughout the construction industry, and future technologies in extraction will only enhance this process. It would appear the future for this distinguished profession is as strong as ever. The industry may have changed in many ways since the days of the Sphinx but the hard-handed, keen-eyed artisans who drive today’s workforce still share the knowledge of their ancient brethren. It’s a career that demands a great deal of commitment, and in return provides an enduring service, often to those who need comfort at a difficult time.
So when you’re looking for a reliable stonemason set your expectations high. A worthy craftsman will leave you with a beautiful product – It’s in his nature to do so. If he’s true to his profession he has no choice.