Romancing the Stone
Stonemasonry is one of the earliest trades in ever in recorded history. In it’s simplest form, stonemasonry is the craft of shaping rough pieces of rock into geometric shapes. Sometimes simple and in it’s highest form, incredibly complex, stonemasonry is blend of building, architeture and art. There are many roles within stonemasonry, from quarrymen who split sheets or rock, to carvers who shape it from a blank slab into a unique design. All types of stone are used in stonemasonry: granite, marble, slate, sandstone, flagstone and limestone.
The beginnings of stonemasonry can be found before early Egypt. By the time the pyramids were built, stonemasonry had become one of the highest forms of art and science in civilization. It’s difficult to imagine now how such incredible monuments were built using limestone and granite and rudimentary tools like pickaxes, chisels and hammers. Historians estimate it took nearly 20 years to build the Great Pyrmaid of Giza. Using 2.3 million stone blocks, that would be hauling, lifting and placing 800 tons of stone per day.
After the pyramids, many more centuries of stonemasonry ensued. European castles, churches, bridges and many more centuries of stonemasonry work has stood the test of time and given us some of the greatest architectural works in history. The Parthenon, Taj Mahal, Easter Island statues, and Chartes Cathedral are all examples of stonemason craft. Today, stonemasonry isn’t that much different than it was throusands of years ago. Instead of using mud bricks and straw as their mortar, stonemasons typically use plaster. The tools and equipment have improved over the years, too. Machine drilling and pneumatic hammers are common, yet hand chiseling is still used for more intricate stone work.
For any home, stone work is appealing, durable and symbol of strength. Remember, only one little pig didn’t get his house blown down, and that was just brick! At Joe Antine Landscape Design, our stonemasons can help you create the stone patio, walkway, landing, retaining wall or decorative garden border of your dreams. Our stonemasons have decades of experience creating beautiful and lasting decorative stone design elements for the outside of homes, like curbing with Belgium block, outdoor kitchen and patio areas, outdoor ponds and water features and more. Call us today to discuss the stone design of your dreams.