Stone carving is an art that has been around since civilization where people create sculptures, structures and buildings using stone. There is a lot of evidence on this thanks to the permanent nature of the materials that were used. Nowadays stonemasons use skills to lay and fit stones during construction projects and also carve blocks of stones to come up with amazing pieces. Professionals have to be good in numbers to be successful at this job. This is because there are usually have to follow architectural plans to perform their task especially when working in construction.
There are no requirements that are needed to get into the art of stone carving as most of the time it only takes passion and talent to come up with great pieces at the end of the day. It is however a different story when working in construction as most employers wants to hire stonemasons who have some experience in the field. It does not have to be an inborn talent as there are some courses a person can do on stone masonry to learn the aspects of the job. This can allow you to get into the industry through an apprenticeship program.
As a stone mason you will either be required to work as a fixer mason on a construction site or a banker mason. The banker mason option has more of the stone carving responsibilities as they are required to shape and carve stone using a variety of power and hand tools to create a polished or textured finish. A fixer on the other hand builds stone walls or does it cladding using specialist or mortar fixings. They may also be required to repair any stonework that has been damaged.
Other projects that they can work on include repairing monuments and buildings, carving statutes, memorial headstones and repairing them and making and fitting the stonework that will be used on archways, ornamental garden pieces and window frames.
A variety of materials are used for the job including limestone, sandstone, granite, marble and slate. Most masons usually spend a total of 39 hours a week on the job. A lot of overtime is also included especially when rushing to meet strict deadlines. It is important for the masons to put on protective clothing as there is a lot of dust and noise associated with the job. It is also important to prepare adequately for the job as there is usually a lot of heavy lifting that is associated with the job.
Some of the skills that stone carving or mason professionals should have include:
High level of fitness
Ability to follow various drawings and buildings
Ability to work well as a team
Attention to detail and careful approach to work
Awareness of health and safety
Good maths skills
You should not be afraid of heights especially when you want to work as a fixer mason
Good coordination and extensive practical skills when using the tools
Creative skills to come up with incredible and unique pieces.
Masons can either be self employed or work for another person depending on what they prefer.