Sunday, June 1, 2014

We Have a Stone House*

He who works with his hands is a labourer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.  
{St. Francis of Assissi}

Over the past month, the stonemason has been here finishing the last side of the house.  This is definitely a turning point in this process.  He started in May 2013 and completed three sides of the house, including the mammoth chimney, and broke for the winter in mid-December when it became too cold for the mortar to set properly.  It was a good day when he started back at it this Spring!

He works alone.  These hands lifted, carried and placed 90 tons of stone and 22 tons of mortar onto our home.    

They are rough like sandpaper, scarred and sewn up, callused, thick and worn from years of working with stone.  

Ours is the last full house he will stone; his craft has weighed heavily on his body.

We are so fortunate:   his skill, care, strength and artistry gave us a stone house.  It is the defining feature of our home.

He suggested that we create a time capsule to place in one of the last stones to go on.  

1.  Family photo
2.  Letter about our family, our time on the farm and the history of the farm
3.  Blueprints for the house
4.  Coins 
5.  Toys!

He carved out a niche in the back of a stone to fit the glass jar.

In the mortar next to the stone with our time capsule, he placed a coin and his stonemason's symbol.  He also placed his own time capsule in the last stone, as he does for every project.  (A coin was also placed in the mortar "for your kids, somewhere they can reach."  Haven't found that one yet!)

What an unique and fascinating experience it has been to have this stonemason work with us on our home. 

* Our house has a 4" thick layer of stone applied to the exterior structural timber walls.  This is called a stone veneer.  A true stone house is actually supported by 3 to 4 foot thick stone walls.