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Stonemasons are all about shaping chunks of rock into useful shapes to be set in mortar and used for construction purposes. Stonemasons can work on a variety of different construction projects, or may specialise in one area. Banker stonemasons usually work in workshops, cutting rocks into shapes for building's.
Carvers are artistic stonemasons who carve stone into intricate designs, whereas Fixer masons actually fix the cut stones onto and into buildings. In addition there are also memorial masons, who carve gravestones, tombs and their inscriptions. Historically stonemasons have been behind the construction many of the worlds famous monuments, cathedrals and cities around the world, such as the Taj Mahal, Easter Island's statues, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Parthenon and Stonehenge. Stonemasons work with different kinds of rock such as granite, in many Cornish churches and the city of Aberdeen;
Marble an easily workable stone traditionally used for carving statues, and for facing many Byzantine and Renaissance Italian buildings, but today most often used for kitchen worktops and ornamental facings; Slate for memorials and inscriptions, as well as a roofing material; plus sedimentary stone such as limestones and sandstones.
Stone Veneer masonry is used as a protective and decorative covering for walls and surfaces, usually around 1 inch thick and mortared onto the face of the wall. Rubble Masonry is a construction method where roughly dressed stones are laid in a mortar. Ashlar Masonry is using dressed stones for construction. Slip form Stone masonry is a method for making stone walls with the aid of form work to contain the rocks and mortar and keeping the walls straight using concrete and rebar. Memorial masons carve inscriptions on quality new headstones, gravestones, tombstones and memorials, typically in polished granite, white marble, slate or stone.
If looking for a memorial stonemason, then check they are members of the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons, this is the official Trade Association for the industry and members must abide by their Code of Working Practice which protect both the stonemasons and their customers, while looking after the safety of the general public in cemeteries and churchyards.
When you choose a stonemason that is a member of the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons, you can expect high standards with the backing of a professional Trade Organisation if required. For other types of stonemasons or stone-workers, check to see if they are members of other organisations such as the Guild of Master Craftsmen (which also have a rigorous selection procedure ensuring the highest standards and commitment to customer care), or the Federation of Master Builders, a trade association that promotes professionalism and high quality workmanship throughout the UK building industry.
The Federation of Master Builders was established in 1941 and only builders and specialists who comply with their entry criteria are accepted as members. When you see the Federation logo on stonemasons vehicles and stationery you can be sure they take pride in the quality of their work.