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A bricklayer, which is related to but different from a mason, is a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork. The terms also refer to personnel who use blocks to construct blockwork walls and other forms of masonry. In British and Australian English, a bricklayer is colloquially known as a "brickie". A stone mason is a term applied to one who lays any combination of stones, cinder blocks, and bricks in construction of building walls and other works. The main difference between a bricklayer and a true mason is skill level: bricklaying is a part of masonry and considered to be a "lower" form of masonry, whereas stonemasonry is a specialist occupation involved in the cutting and shaping of stones and stonework.
Bricklaying and masonry is an ancient profession that even centuries later requires modern training. Masons must attend trade school and/or serve apprenticeships requiring they demonstrate they know how to protect home from humidity or water ingress, know about thermal insulation, and know about the science of construction material and occupational health and safety. While some online sites say they can get you certified in a little as 30 days, most bricklayers today attend vocational or technical schools and receive in-depth and thorough training.
It’s likely that as long as man seeks shelter from the elements, there will be work for these skilled professionals. While steel and glass make up the modern skyscraper, it’s hard to imagine a world where the work of a mason isn’t held in high demand and esteem.
- Italian-American author John Fante featured hod carriers, bricklayers, and stonemasons prominently in several novels and short stories. This was due to the autobiographical nature of much of Fante's writing; his father, Nick, was an Italian-born bricklayer descended from — at least in Fante's fictions — a long line of Italian artisan bricklayers and stonemasons. Fante also spent a significant portion of his youth apprenticed to his father.
- In Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the title character, a Gulag prisoner, worked as a bricklayer.
Guild clothing of the German bricklayers
- Picture of an Ehrbarkeit
- Traditional belt-buckle of a bricklayer (it reads: Extol the bricklayer's art).
- The buckle is worn on a belt very much like this (this is a belt of a roofer)
- Bricklayer trousers
- Traditional bricklayer waistcoat (most times this is not white, but rather grey)
- Richard T. Kreh (2003). Masonry Skills. Thomson Delmar Learning. ISBN 0-7668-5936-3.
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