Accolades for Michael Jamieson

Rock On!

by Janine Cheviot

As featured in, November, 2007

It's rare for an artist to equally blend skill and experience with creativity and passion in their work. But such is the case with master stonemason Michael Jamieson, sculptor by trade and owner of Jamieson Stoneworks, LLC, who creates art from stone by hand cutting and carving each piece. Whether it is a sculpture, fireplace, veneer, patio, monument or pier, each project stands out. "I love stone. I love the history of it. I love creating from it. I get a great joy from doing it," he said.

Far from the average stonemason, Jamieson's background as a sculptor gives him an artsy edge, as he views each job as "a newborn with the greatest potential of being something unique and great." He noted that most stonemasons today are landscapers who went into the stone business of simply building walls, but that he hand cuts his stone and works with the grain of stone and giant boulders, cutting them into building blocks.

Jamieson's career as a stonemason began after a company he hired to dig the foundation on land he purchased in Rockland County (no pun intended) hit solid rock. He bought a rock splitter and learned to cut the rock himself and compared the experience to cutting diamonds, finding the grain and faults, using a plug and feather. "I started splitting the stone, and with the rocks I built stone walls," he recalled. "As they say, if you build it they will come, and they did. People saw the walls and hired me to do theirs." Jamieson went on to study with skilled masons and artists, and is now a member of a national stonemason organization that meets periodically to learn and discuss what is going on in the stone world. "I just returned from Mallorca, Spain where I went to learn the latest techniques in my business," he said.

Jamieson considers the projects that he donates the most prominent - including a 9/11 memorial that he carved from an 11-ton granite glacial erratic that was around 1.2 billion years old (the boulder was tested by a geologist). "A friend of mine lost his brother who was a firefighter on 9/11 and asked me to carve a rock for a memorial in Rockland County," he explained. "I like carving boulders because you can already see what's going to happen, and you don't have to carve the entire stone because nature has already done a lot of the work." The 9/11 memorial has an eagle carved on the side, a waving American flag on the front and a plaque with the names of loved ones who lost their lives that day.

Jamieson draws inspiration for his work from nature, mixing the old with the new. "I am always looking at great stonework by masons who have come before me," he said, noting that some of the best stonemasons from the western hemisphere have cut and carved great works of art in buildings right here in New York City. His favorite stone to work with is granite, as it is the most primal of all stones and was the first to come up from the center of Earth. "Once you hit the hard stuff it is difficult to go back," he said. "That's how Noguchi must have felt."

Jamieson's personal stone collection includes pieces dating back to the revolution, but the majority consists of carved architectural pieces from the mid-to-late 19th century, which was the heyday of stonework. "Like my wife can never have enough shoes, I can never have enough stone," he justified.

In the future, Jamieson plans to build a home on the East End from stone, of course, and assures that he can offer a level of stonemasonry that few other masons can accomplish. Give him a call, not just for stonework, but to create a unique work of art for your home or business.

Jamieson Stoneworks, LLC has an extensive portfolio and will do an estimate anywhere. Visit or call 845-753-6212 for more information.

- Janine Cheviot