Time-hon­oured Trade

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Stanstead, Vic­to­ria Vanier

As I ap­proached the site of the gran­ite sym­po­sium at Gran­itCen­tral last Satur­day, that unique sound, old as time it­self, of ham­mer hit­ting stone could be heard. I slowed down when I no­ticed the small, sharp chunks of gran­ite that went fly­ing with ev­ery hit of gra­not o ph

ite worker Dave Dubois’ ham­mer, a small re­minder that the art of stone-cut­ting isn’t just an­cient, but dan­ger­ous too.

“I’ve been work­ing in the gran­ite in­dus­try for thirty-two years, start­ing in the quarry tak­ing blocks out. Then I went to pol­ish­ing, saw­ing, base cut­ting and now I’m a fin­ish cut­ter,” ex­plained Mr. Dubois who works at Rock of Ages Canada. “It’s good to learn all the pro­cesses. If you don’t un­der­stand the grain of the stone, it’s hard to be a good fin­ish cut­ter,” he added. Ac­cord­ing to Dave, the work of a fin­ish cut­ter, cut­ting the fi­nal shape of a piece, is all “old school”. “It’s how it’s been done for hundreds of years. You must be very fo­cussed on your work; some pieces are enor­mous and worth tens of thou­sands of dol­lars!”

An­dré Par­ent, an independent gran­ite worker from Stanstead, was han­detch­ing roses onto a large piece of beau­ti­ful, dark, pol­ished gran­ite us­ing an elec­tric en­graver with a di­a­mond point. “I was al­ways artis­tic and since I live in a gran­ite com­mu­nity it was nat­u­ral to fall into it,” said Mr. Par­ent who has been work­ing with gran­ite for about six­teen years. Hand etch­ing im­ages onto gran­ite is one of the more re­cent in­no­va­tions when it comes to stonework. “It’s very sim­i­lar to tat­too­ing but you don’t do it on soft skin so there’s no com­plaints!” he joked.

Rock McCutcheon, who has been work­ing in the in­dus­try for eleven years, was mak­ing v-cuts in the let­ter­ing of a head­stone with an air ham­mer un­der the watch­ful eye of his fa­ther, Jac­ques McCutcheon, owner of Granit McCutcheon and

Gran­ite work­ers Paul Tan­guay (left) and Ben Dubois (mid­dle) come to the aid of Dave Dubois (right) as he makes a dif­fi­cult cut with his ham­mer and chisel at last Satur­day’s gran­ite trade demon­stra­tion.

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