The Art of Masonry, or the Craft.

What is an art? What is a craft? What’s the difference?

The definitions of art and craft are not uniform, but in Western Europe crafts predate the arts. A time long ago when there was a focus on the beauty in the world, and if you had the talent to make something beautiful, or at least the ability to learn to make something beautiful, you apprenticed at a trade guild. Metalsmiths, architects, weavers, carpenters, these were the artists of their time, each forming into a guild of tradesmen under a master craftsman, who designed the craft..oasis1

Masonry is the art and craft of building and fabricating in stone, clay, brick, or concrete block. Construction of poured concrete, reinforced or unreinforced. The craft of stonemasonry (or stonecraft) has existed since humanity could use and make tools- creating buildings, structures, and sculpture using stone from the earth. They were beautiful, made to exact, repeatable designs and specifications from the master, meeting all standards set by the guildmaster, created by the craftsmen, and assisted in their craft by their apprentices. The value of it was that it was recognizable. It carried the master’s trade mark.

Medicine, while founded in science, has long been called an “art.” Likewise, the delivery of medical care is known as “practice,” though it will likely never be made perfect. Medicine is part science. Part art. The relationship between physicians and patients is at the core of healing.

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Over time the world changed, and  the emphasis shifted from the work to the worker. The artwork was absolutely valuable, but more because it was a unique expression of the experiences of the artist or an interpretation of the beauty the artist saw. The crafts sliped away to be repeatable to exacting, high standards.

1.Art is a work created by the accumulation of experience, skill, expressible point of view, and is entirely unique.

2. Craft is work created by the skills and experience of a skilled artisan meant to meet and conform to exacting standards of the Master.

Stonemasonry is one of the earliest craft in civilization’s history. During the time of the Neolithic Revolution and domestication of animals, people learned how to use fire to create quicklime, plasters, and mortars. They used these to fashion homes for themselves with mud, straw, or stone, and the CRAFT masonry was born.

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