Stone is the oldest building material of all and certainly the most enduring. Too bad the artisans can’t live as long as their work. One thing that can endure is their skills, if we protect them. Lost arts are like the artists that practiced them, treasure chests of skills passed from generation to generation. As a backdrop to some of the romanticism stone evokes in all of us, I thought I’d share with you an article (PDF) we contributed to Traditional Building that discusses some of the fundamental principles and concepts of cast stone. You’ll also learn how important standards and language are to an industry. I wrote the article, in part, to be a catalyst for preserving and protecting both the art and the artisan. If we acknowledge the work of their hands in the public eye, perhaps the media would seek out those worthy of attention. In doing so, we elevate the value of the craft. Only then will we progress as a civilized culture passing on the lessons from fathers to sons. When I see the great buildings of the ages, people come to mind. The ingenuity of the human spirit. is plainly evident. It is with out equal on the planet. But we can only build upon the foundations of our forefathers if we preserve the body of knowledge that defines our industry. Lack of knowledge is reason enough to perish.