Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why Blog About Stone??

Socrates was a stonecutter. I suspect his wife wanted more stonecutting and less dialogue. But I am sure he would probably blog if he was still here.

I don’t know why I do stone sculpture, or why I want to write about my passion for stone, and its history, as well as its impact on the urban environment. As a friend of mine told me “writing and art work for slave wages and the master rarely delivers fans.” Nevertheless just as I wrote in my artist’s statement many years ago I solicit audience participation, for my stone sculpture and blogging, for they only need to evoke emotion to be meaningful.

To begin, I have noticed that there is not a good definition of a stonecutter on Google. This is one taken from a turn-of-the-century stonecutter technical manual.” One who cuts a stone by hand to a specific size to fit in a specific location among other cut stone pieces making the whole, most often for a building.” Kind of dry but I think it explains why many stone fabrication and installation business east of the Mississippi are titled ______ cut stone company. It’s an historical precedent. In fact in my 50 years of working within the stone industry I have found that few people understand how stone flows into our lives, much less its history.

This may help:

Quarrymen: quarry stone blocks                      Lumberjacks: harvest logs|

Stone is sawed in: sawmills                             Logs are sawed sawmills|

Stone brokers buy: stone slabs                         Lumber yards buy : finished lumber|

At this point customers select materials from stone supply yards to be fabricated and installed on their projects.

Stone fabricator cuts to size & details              Cabinet builder builds cabinets

Stone is installed by marble mason                    Cabinets are installed by finish carpenter

Each of these general areas tend to be specialized. That is, you would not expect a lumberjack to build your cabinets even though he knows a lot about wood, just as a quarryman isn't interested in fabricating your kitchen counter tops, it can become a little less clear about who is capable of what when you further define the general areas for example in the general area of saw mills you may find stone engineers, stone sayers, stone polishers, stone cutters, stone carvers, stone lettering experts, stone sculptors, etc. -- all separate and unique trades. The same is true for stone fabricators.

All these trades and the people within them have interesting stories that I will be blogging about.

Joseph Conrad
March 2011 edited November 2013

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