Our Stone Carver, Ryan Watson's next project is starting to take shape while our crew finishes up our House on Hastings project. Watson works diligently with the Owner/s of each project to come up with a unique and timeless design each and every time. This 4 foot limestone address marker (gallery below) will soon find its forever home at Cathedral Bluffs.
Watson uses both a pneumatic hammer as well as a mallet and chisel to create all of his hand carved pieces. The pneumatic hammer dates back to 1880 and helps to speed up the process. The chisels used are the same, but the difference is that in the same amount of the time it takes the pneumatic hammer to produce 100 small strokes, the hand mallet produces around 10 strokes. Watson continues to use hand mallets when working on the more intricate areas of his carvings. Most of his carving tools predate the depression of 1929, most of which have the carvers names punched right into them from over 80 years ago!
Please enjoy the progression of this address carving in today's photo gallery. I also invite you to check out our YouTube channel. There you'll see the stone chips and limestone dust flying while Watson brings each hand carved piece to life. CLICK HERE FOR OUR CARVING STUDIO and stay tuned to see this address carving through to installation.
Scaffold is down and the Taverna building's Masonry facade is a wrap ahead of schedule! This project was by far one of our most exciting projects to date since we had the opportunity to work with Owners of Taverna who hold the same passion and love for historical architecture as we do. Having Strata on board leading the way was also a bonus since their companies core values are much like our own.
Our scope of work included; A brick and Limestone combination on the exterior. Many gorgeous limestone details including numerous stone moldings, dentils, rock faced pilaster bases and to top it all off hand carved 'AGORA'/THYRSUS building signage and hand carved date stone to pay homage to the year the building was originally built. The interior includes a brick accent wall to greet customers as they enter the restaurant.
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 crew today.
Watson's gift in the art of hand carved stone has been proven time and time again with carving projects in Chicago, Philadelphia, South Carolina and all over Canada. 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 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. Want Reviews? Go to our REVIEWS page!
For more on this project and about our stone carver visit our website blog HERE.
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.
Nicolene Watson, Co-Owner of Rocco Masons since 2013. "Nicolene is the brains behind the scenes at Rocco Masons. She naturally knows how to run a business. When she wants something there's no stopping her", says Ryan Watson, Nicolene's husband and the companies Founder & President. Since 2013 Nicolene manages the office and directs all aspects of the business including Accounts Payable/Receivable, Human Resources, Web Design, Marketing, Advertising and Social Media. "I finally found my dream career at fourty that fits me like a glove"!