Why a Mason Is an Integral Part of Natural Stone Installation When it comes to the installation of any natural stone project, there are a lot of professionals involved. From the architect to the designer, and the stone supplier, many people contribute to a gorgeous finished result. However, out of all of the people involved in a natural stone installation, the mason has a very important and special job. A mason is the artist of the stone world—the person with the innate talent to shape, fit, and cut every stone that goes into a wall, creating a masterpiece out of the materials Mother Nature provides. What Is a Mason? A stone mason is the person responsible for cutting, shaping, chipping, and setting the stone you buy so it will work for the project at hand. They work at the job site using their natural eye, hands, and tools to pattern and sculpt a pile of stone into a flawless work of art. It takes a keen eye for detail, an artistic vision, and a natural ability to see how the stones fit together to make a talented mason. The job of a stone mason involves viewing the bigger picture and then breaking it down stone by stone to meticulously form each piece of the puzzle. When a customer picks out a stone for their project, they get a general idea of the colors, cut, and finishes they want. But the mason is the mechanic behind the final stone product – the person that shapes it into a work of art. And in order to obtain the customers vision of the project, communication with the mason is huge. Details such as how tight they set something, the joint size, how regimented it may or may not be, and how rustic they want it are all things the mason needs to know before beginning a project. Similar to talking to an artist about a portrait, every detail needs to be relayed when a customer is transferring their vision for their natural stone project. What Are Some Techniques a Mason Uses? When a mason begins, they have a rough, natural stone that is chipped, shaped, and cut to attain the customer’s vision for the project. A skilled stone mason has a variety of tools at their disposal, each with a difference purpose and technique. A chisel is the most common tool used by a stone mason. It comes in various sizes and shapes and is used for splitting stone and performing general shaping. The mason uses a hammer to apply even, firm pressure to the chisel to create the right shape and depth. A point is what the mason turns to in order to eliminate high spots or to rough out areas. A pitching tone or handset is used to create square edges. A hand tracer helps a mason trim flat stones to the proper size. Why You Need a Mason When you watch a mason at work, it may seem easier than it is. The truth is that a mason is an artisan, and their unique talents and natural eye for placement and sizing are usually not replaceable by someone without the proper training. If you are considering a stone project and feel like it could be done without the assistance of a mason, give us a call. We can go over what is involved in the process and if you need a mason, we would be happy to recommend one.