Quite often, people ask us about what we do and our trade, so here are some answers to those frequently asked questions…
What is stone masonry? In a nutshell, a stone mason is a person who takes lumps of rock and makes them into something useful or beautiful – or both! The lumps of rock are often made into geometric shapes and then fused together, often using mortar to form structures. Stone masons can make incredibly complex pieces and also very simple pieces which can vary hugely in size, shape and finish.
How long have stone masons been around? Who do you think built the pyramids in Egypt? Stone masons have been around ever since humans learnt to use tools and rub them together. Stone has been used to build some of the longest lasting structures on earth, and is truly remarkable! Think of the Easter Island statues, the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China (insert images) and much more. Imagine a world without stone masons - no beautiful carvings in cathedrals, no head stones in graveyards, no impressive stone work in stately homes – the world just wouldn’t be the same.
How do stone masons learn their trade? In days gone by, stone masons took seven years to complete their training, and quite a similar system is around today. Most stone masons train through completing an apprenticeship, although college courses are also available. It is a highly trained trade and not something that can be learned easily overnight. Another good reason for getting in a trained professional!
What sort of projects do stone masons work on? Stone masons work on a huge variety of projects including reconstructing old buildings, making head stones for graves, monuments, decorative pieces including house numbers and names, cathedrals and much more. Stone masons often find themselves repairing existing buildings as well as creating structures from scratch. The work itself is highly skilled and is not something that anyone can just pick up easily. It takes a great deal of training and expertise to become a qualified stone mason, and good hand eye co-ordination and a head for heights is a must!
What can I use a stone mason for? Here at Swales in the Dales we do a huge variety of work including date stones, pet memorials, headstones and cremation tablets, restoration work and much more. To find out more, click here.
Stone masonry is truly amazing, keep reading our blog to find out more about our fascinating projects here in the Yorkshire Dales.