A stonemason refers to an occupation in which a person , works with raw pieces of rocks or stones and turns them into statues, showpieces or keepsakes. In medieval times a stonemason’s job was considered a quite tedious and meticulous one. A stonemason had to be perfect in his/her detailing, yet had to work at a speed . If a stonemason would do his/her job with perfection , they would be heavily rewarded with jewels or even entire palaces built especially for themselves. However the turn of modern century , has witnessed quite a decline in this profession, since almost the entire population now prefers lightweight and cheaper showpieces that are easier to manage and do not require to be handled with fragility that their stone carved counterparts require.
A modern stonemason
A traditional stonemasons job, along with time has evolved as well, instead of larger than life statues , in today’s times stonemasons now produce intricately detailed keepsakes and specialise more in carving initials and names. In today’s times, buyers can choose from a plethora of available options that allow them to choose from a wide range of stone keepsakes that are both durable and lightweight. From minimal, designs that are easy to carry, and do not take up much space to loud statement pieces that embody the larger than life sense, today’s modern stonemasons offer it all. Due to the variety these professionals offer, becoming a stonemason in today’s time requires extreme hard work and long periods of training. The lack of people willing to put in such effort and time for a relatively less reputed course, makes the few stonemasons and their work even higher valued , this is one of the major reasons why stone or marble showpieces are often expensive and considered a status symbol
In a survey conducted in 2020, it was found that stonemasons made lower than the national average salary in Australia. A stonemasons melbourne -based made an average of 20,000 U.S dollars per year. Although the craft is highly valued since it lacks a professional education and has scarce job opportunities, hence people engaging in this occupation often have no leverage to negotiate and take what they can get.
To conclude, one can safely say that the craft of stonemason is highly valued and is an extremely delicate and intricate art, however, due to lack of proper opportunities and the constant decline of demands of stonemasons goods, has forced even the most talented stonemasons to struggle to make ends meet. Some of them have been forced into early retirement, looking for other jobs which would serve as a more constant source of income. These slowly decaying and fading arts are a vital part of our culture and legacy and must be preserved in an attempt to keep our younger generations in touch with our ancient legacy. Since we must remember that while we embrace modernity, we must not forget our roots and stonemasons are a vital part of our history