Masonry is one of, if not THE most ancient profession in the world. It involves the shaping, placement, and binding of stone objects to create some workpiece. Stone was the first workable material used by humans, and ultimately allowed for the development of stone tools, to be used to work other materials, and for the development of stone dwellings and monuments, which led to the rise of civilization itself.
Although Masonry is commonly viewed as laying walkways, or working with brick, this is an extremely limited sampling of the diverse range of work which fall into the category of masonry. Of particular interest in the modern age, all kinds of concrete work, especially regarding block-work and foundations, are also masonry works.
Beyond the practical, masonry can also involve artistic productions and finishes, such as stucco and plaster-work. Although most people associate the word "stucco" with the simple textured finishes seen on the exterior of many modern buildings, and may even have a negative view of it as being cheap or flimsy, this is a horrible misconception. In reality, stucco as a decorative material can be used in the same way as any sculptural medium, and in fact, some of the most intricate reliefs, mouldings, and sculptures adorning classical buildings throughout the world are made entirely of stucco. The difference between stucco and plaster is only a matter of where the material is used, where stucco refers to usage on exteriors, while plaster refers to usage on interiors.
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