"No job is too big or too small for these hard working boys! Thank you Rocco Masons for installing the 800 lb Italian fountain in our backyard. Job well done!!
We also were honored when The Schwandt's asked our Stone Carver & Masonry Designer, Ryan Watson to design and carve them an angel for their entryway, along with the homes exterior Masonry! For a time lapse of this hand carved Indiana limestone guardian angel click on HERE!
"We couldn't be happier with the results of the work done by Rocco Masons. With Ryan's help, we achieved the look we were hoping for. We are doing a renovation to our 100+ year old character home on Queen St. Our goal was to spruce it up while paying respect aesthetically to the traditional appearance of our home.
I've always loved angels! After giving Ryan an idea of what I would like to have, he went to work to design and carve a beautiful piece that we are proud to embrace as part of our home. She is an amazing work of art - Ryan is a truly talented artist.
Ryan and the boys also installed the beautiful stonework on the front entrance stairway and to the front exterior of the house. The job was done professionally and in a timely manner. They gave us a date for completion and it was done on time!
Thanks to Ryan, Nicolene and the boys for their knowledge and exemplary customer service".
Janette & Bill Schwandt
The original owner of this three piece fountain purchased it from a store in Edmonton, AB who imported it from Italy. It was fashioned after the baroque fountains in Rome who used fountains to supply drinking water, while providing a decorative and dramatic effect.
Our Stone Carver and Rocco Masons Founder, Ryan Watson stands proud with his latest carving out at Cathedral Bluffs, north of Saskatoon. This three piece Indiana limestone address marker was hand carved using traditional tools of trade, some dating back to the beginning of civilization. This three piece stone carving stands 3.5 feet tall at its forever home just outside of the gate of this gorgeous property. Check out the gallery below to see it's progress from beginning to end:
Make your mark last forever... Our talented Stone Carver and Masonry Designer, will work with you to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind hand carved piece for your residential or commercial project. We believe in old world craftsmanship, we believe in attention-to-detail, we believe in taking pride in everything we do. Let us help you make a statement that will last forever.
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.
For the purposes of this post for our House on Hastings project, let’s go through a few quick definitions with regards to using real stone for your fireplaces versus cast concrete. Natural stone is millions of years old. It is quarried from the earth and has gone through many natural changes over time. Cast stone is a type of precast concrete designed to simulate different types of natural cut stone.
Let’s now review a few points about natural stone that might be considered advantageous. It is relatively strong, stable, timeless, and durable, as witnessed by monuments and works of art that are centuries old and have aged wonderfully.
Natural stone will appreciate in value when used properly, is very eco-friendly, will resist natural elements, requires minimal maintenance, and offers almost limitless design options as seen on the following three Indiana limestone surrounds for our House on Hastings project. All of our fireplace surrounds, (including these three here) were designed and hand-carved by our Stone Carver and Masonry Designer, Ryan Watson. The first fireplace above was installed in the homes must have Man Cave. The fireplace below was installed in the homes main Floor Great Room, with the final fireplace in the families Master Suite.
Natural stone comes in various shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and patterns. There is a stone that is perfect for almost every application out there. It can be considered a one-of-a-kind building material, and in fact, hand-carved natural stone (as shown here) is a true work of art!
Stone is similar to fingerprints, in that no one has the same fingerprint, and that is something that makes us one of a kind. There are many natural causes that affect the graining and coloration of stone over time. They include mineral deposits, underground springs, temperature, and seismic shifts. These occurrences are impossible to re-create and can only be done by Mother Nature herself. All of the “imperfections,” what I like to think of as character, are unique reflections of the stone’s “life.”
There are a few drawbacks when considering cast stone for your fireplace surrounds, hearth and mantel included. For example, cast stone struggles to achieve the same level of detail as carved natural stone. There is only so much you can capture with the molds that produce the product, whereas the possibilities are endless when you have a sculptor carving natural stone. The hardness and density of the stone and the artistic expression of the artisan doing the work add immeasurable value that simply cannot be achieved in the cast counterpart. It can also be quite challenging for a cast stone producer to achieve a genuine visual interpretation of veining and overall stone “movement.”
So consider all these factors before your decision is cast in stone!
Watch our Stone Carver, Ryan Watson in action with carving chisel in hand by checking out our YouTube videos HERE. For more on this House on Hastings project that we started last year, go HERE and HERE. You will also find an album on our company's facebook page called "House on Hastings" for more cool pictures of the homes progress. Did you know we offer sneak peeks of our work on instagram? Follow us there too at rocco_masons - Stay tuned for more!
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"!