Stonemasonry is an ancient craft and at Lovell Stone, we have a team of specialist stonemasons who have over the years, produced exceptional quality architectural and monumental masonry.
So what does it take to be a stonemason? It certainly takes dedication and a real passion for working with stone, but for anyone out there thinking about a career in stonemasonry, what are the options?
The best way is a 3 year apprenticeship. An apprenticeship includes working within a stonemasonry workshop, with block release to a local college. That way, you get the best of both worlds – practical experience and theory. In fact, some colleges offer a full time masonry course but there is nothing like practical experience and working with stone, using powerful equipment that will soon be the tools of your trade.
Once you have completed an apprenticeship, what next?
If you have commitment, a strong work ethic, enthusiasm and dedication, you can hopefully secure a permanent position and over the years develop the skills that will forge a unique and rewarding career. Talented stonemasons can also progress up the ladder to management. In fact, two of our own employees who started out as banker masons have risen up through the ranks, with Pat George recently being promoted to Director of Operations.
Every day, our stonemasons work with both the stone we quarry from sites throughout the South West and stone such as Portland that is supplied to us ready for our masons to work their magic. The team also work on monumental masonry which as you can imagine, deserves a great deal of time and attention to detail.
It’s important to mention that sometimes the term ‘mason’ can be used loosely. In our world masons are craftsmen, producing amazing results from blocks of stone and recognising talent and experience.
To keep the art of stonemasonry alive, it’s important that companies like us continue to take on apprentices but in such a competitive market place, it’s difficult to sometimes balance cost, time and customer need. We have recently taken on a mason who has just completed his apprenticeship and will be taking on another mason shortly so we want to continue playing our part in promoting the beauty of stonemasonry, its importance in both contemporary and listed buildings, making the very most of its heritage and make sure it has a future.
Last week we were delighted to receive a visit at Chicksgrove Quarry from our friends at Salisbury Cathedral. They were …