The Mason Seasons
A carpenter works in wood and makes chairs and tables, doors and window-frames, and all things made of wood. A smith works in metals-blacksmiths making things of iron, coppersmith’s things of copper, and goldsmiths rings and bracelets and brooches and various other ornaments of gold and silver. In the same way, a mason works in stone. In building a house it is the mason that cuts the stone into the proper sizes for making the walls and floors and then places them in the proper position. When the ornament is wanted, the mason carves the stone in nice patterns or figures.
Masons also do general building work. If the house is built of brick, it is the mason who plays the bricks–that is places them in the proper position in building up the walls. He also mixes the mortar and cement with which the stones or bricks are fastened together. He lays the flat stones in place to make the floor of the rooms or lays down the cement smoothly if cement floors are to be made. He plasters the walls with cement, smooths mortar or mud plaster, and the ceilings and roof. So a mason is not only a stone-cutter but also a builder.
A mason has different kinds of tools for his work. For cutting large pieces of stone into blocks of different sizes, he uses a very large and strong saw. This saw is worked by two men. Then he uses hammers (some of the iron and some of the wood the wooden ones called mallets) and chisels, for cutting and shaping the surface of the stone blocks. He has tools for smoothing and polishing the stone; spades for mixing mortar and cement; trowels for laying the mortar on the bricks; holds for carrying bricks and stone; and flat wooden tools for smoothing the surface of plaster.