We're pleased to announce that we ranked TWO on FEEDSPOT for their Top 20 Stone Carving Blogs! These blogs are ranked based on following criteria:
More about Co-Owner Nicolene
Nicolene Watson, Co-Owner of Rocco Masons since 2013. "Nicolene is self taught and the brains behind the scenes at Rocco Masons. She naturally knows how to run a business inside and out having had office jobs her whole life. When she wants something there's no stopping her", says Ryan Watson, Nicolene's husband and the companies Founder & President.
As soon as Nicolene came on board in the Spring of 2013, she took over all aspects of the company's finances and accounting with the generous mentorship of her good friend Margaret who happened to be an honorary Commerce graduate. Since Nicolene had a day job, all of this work had to take place after hours. Two months in and she was asked to come on board full time. That summer she immediately wrote and published a new website, entered Rocco Masons on all social media platforms, and set out to tell the world about her husbands undeniable Masonry talent, especially that of hand carved architectural stone detail.
Fast forward to 2017, and with no shortage of blood, sweat, and tears, ROCCO MASONS is highly recognizable with a Masonry crews reputation unlike many others. If you've started a business from the ground up with little to no capital, then you will understand the hard work and dedication it took to accomplish this.
Today, Rocco Masons is coming up to 3,000 followers on instagram, almost 1,000 LIKES on facebook, and a healthy following everywhere else! It's safe to say that Nicolene was born with a natural nack for owning and operating a successful business. Today she Directs all aspects of the business operations including Accounts Payable/Receivable, Human Resources, Web Design, Marketing, Advertising and of course all Social Media platforms. "I've finally found a career that fits me perfectly at fourty and love everything about it (even the bumps and bruises along the way) *laughing*, but I will admit, telling the world about my husbands talent and our awesome crew has got to be my favorite hours in the day"!
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Ryan Watson, Stone Carver & Founder of Rocco Masons is nearing the finish line for the first of two hand carved stone pieces for the Taverna Italian Kitchen & Bar restoration in downtown Saskatoon. This building originally went up in 1907, so it's fitting that most of Watson's carving tools date back to the same time period, with the trade of Stone Carving dating back to the beginning of civilization.
The beauty of hand carved architectural stone detail is that it's design is timeless, and simply becomes more and more impressive with age lasting for centuries. It's nice to see more and more commercial and residential Owners recognizing this fact and restoring Saskatoon's history with more hand carved stone details, along with traditional Masonry facades.
Check out our youtube channel above for a look inside our carving shop of Watson in action and stay tuned for the installation coming soon! Watch PART one by clicking HERE.
Our crew has completed installing the brick under the limestone Greek key motif and cap stones with precision; a combination of Masonry that's a true match made in heaven!
This meander motif took its name from the river Meander, a river with many twists, mentioned by Homer in Iliad. The motif is also known as Greek key or Greek fret.
Meander was the most important symbol in Ancient Greece, symbolizing infinity or the eternal flow of things. Many temples and objects were decorated with this motif, and it is considered that there is a connection with the Cretan labyrinth – indeed - a labyrinth can be drawn using a Greek key.
Meander symbolizes as well the bonds of friendship, of love and devotion and that’s the reason it’s often given as marriage gift. It can symbolize as well the four cardinal points, the 4 seasons, waves – especially in the round version of it, or snakes, among others.
Our limestone dentil is in and absolutely beautiful in and amongst the surrounding limestone facade, staying true to the history of 21st Street in Saskatoon! A dentil is one of a series of closely spaced, rectangular stones that form a molding. The use of dentils is strongly associated with Classical (Greek and Roman) and Neoclassical (Greek Revival) architecture. Dentils should not be confused with brackets or corbels, which generally have a supporting function. The precursor to dentils, when the Greeks were working in wood, may have had a structural reason for being, but regular lines of rectangular blocks of stone became a mark of Greek and Roman ornamentation.
For more on this project and the history of this building see previous blogs by scrolling through them HERE.
It is with great sadness that we must announce the loss of our beloved dog Rocco. He came into this world in 2003 and was truly loved by everyone he met. Anyone he crossed paths with is sure to say that he was the coolest dog they knew! Rocco learned many tricks in his younger years that we were proud to show off any chance we got. In July of 2013 we decided to name our company and design our logo after him.
Before his most recent home on 3 acres in Cedar Villa, Rocco loved walks down to the river at Furdale, and the Avalon dog park. He was extremely obedient, loving and intelligent. He was a bit of a loner around other dogs, but loved human company and was always eager to please his owners. In 2010 we adopted 2 year old Missy May who Rocco surprisingly welcomed and truly loved to protect. They became best of buds, were always giving eachother kisses, and bounced along together where ever we went. Rocco was sure to wag his tail in circles just at the mention of her name.
Over the past few weeks his health got the best of him, to the point where he couldn't walk from a knee and shoulder condition. He also acquired an insistent cough from recent enlarged heart diagnosis, along with suspected lung cancer. Up to this point, Rocco had already been living for years with chronic itchiness that Spaniels tend to be prone to. However, after a gazillion tests and trials, we were able to finally manage it with a cupboard full of supplements and a raw food diet. In spite of this all, Rocco's coat was as shiny as silk, his eyes as bright as ever, leaving people in shock when they found out his age! He was a puppy at heart right til the end.
So with heavy hearts and the ripe old age of 14, Ryan and I made the toughest decision a dog owner will ever have to make. We decided to allow him to rest in peace without anymore discomfort on Wednesday, May 17th 2017. Our home, the office, and our job sites will never be the same without him. We miss him terribly but know with total confidence that he's in a much better pain-free place fetching sticks up in puppy heaven. #longliverocco
Stay tuned for his hand carved headstone that is almost near completion!
CBC interviews our Stone Carver, Ryan Watson. For CBC's full story follow this link: CBC FULL STORY
Ryan Watson was born in 1976, was raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is proud of his prairie roots. He's a natural born artist in a trade that dates back to the beginning of civilization and uses the most modern tools to promote one of the oldest trades. Watson received a Diploma in Heritage and Traditional Masonry as well as Heritage Restoration, both from Ontario. From there he formed a Masonry company specializing in hand carved stone and restoration. In 2010 his company received a Heritage Award in Saskatoon for the hand carved entryways and Masonry work on the King George Hotel restoration project and continues to run a ten man crew today.
Watson's gift in the art of hand carved stone has been proven time and time again. His carvings adorn buildings from west coast Canada to Chicago Illinois. With over 16 years of experience in the trade, Watson continues his dedication to the art by providing his commercial and residential clients with inspiration and an end-product unlike any other. He's keeping history alive in Saskatoon by playing a key creative role in designing timeless stone facades on homes and buildings both inside and out. His extensive knowledge and artistic talent in old world craftsmanship offers his clients a unique Masonry Design each and every time.
Watson and his business partner and wife Nicolene Watson take pride in offering their clients a superior customer experience, a fair price for quality workmanship while meeting deadlines. It is their mandate to work for their clients how they would want a company to work for them.