An Appreciation of Stone 40

Take some good stone and add in a client who desires the best and looks to make a statement at his entry with a real craftsmen and what do you get?

Art . . . real art and show-stopping texture work.

Texture work by a great stone mason

[ Look at the amount of texturing, and the different textures. ]

I was told this house was completed in 1881. I am fond of saying that this is when time had no meaning. When no one worked by the hour, but by the job. this is a guy who took his time and created great work.

And yes, I truly appreciate the time, energy, effort, and-of course . . . skill.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. Amazing.

    Is this sandstone?

    Yep, a sandstone somewhat local to Cincinnati, or they figure just upriver

    How is it cut and shaped? It must be a mechanical process of some sort.

    All hand work, If I remember correctly this work was done by Italian masons who were brought over to work on this “castle”.

    Completed in 1881. We’ve come a long way in 127 years. Now we do it in faux stone. Real artistic like. It comes in a box already looking like the contents of the other boxes, and in three colors.

    In many ways it seems we are regressing. Craftsmen, and craftswomen seem to be disappearing, and the thought of working with real stone-fuggidiboutit!

    Actually does anyone do this kind of work today? For any price?

    Yes there are a few guys left, even in this country. The ones I know are booked 2 and 4 years out. there are very few of them. They do command a premium for the hand work. though most work anywhere near this intricate is now CNC work.

    And are there any clients who will not only pay for this quality but demand it?

    Far and few in between. But if there is one consistent over the last several centuries there is/are/will be a class of folks who are recession/depression proof. I believe there will always be benefactors and those that support artist and craftsmen.

    How does one get to know and rub shoulders with such craftspersons?

    In the expertise of stone masons may I suggest “The Stone Foundation” and there annual conference. There are other craft guilds out there, check a few of the links on my WCI links page. All these groups have yearly get-togethers to promote/teach/provide fellowship for their members.

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