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"We Create History"

In the intricate world of stonecutting, Traditional Cut Stone Ltd. is known for artistry and precision, seamlessly blending classical craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology.


“Every piece will shape the visual landscape of the community for at least a century.”
Michael Tyrrell, Vice President, Traditional Cut Stone Ltd.

During the 2020 and 2021 Skyline Restoration project at One Wall Street, Traditional Cut Stone emerged as a pivotal and dependable ally. The teamwork exhibited by this vendor was commendable, overseeing the fabrication and delivery of approximately 700 stones of diverse shapes and sizes from 2018 to 2022. The collaboration with Traditional Cut Stone on this landmark project was a fortunate endeavor for Skyline Restoration, prompting a keen interest in delving deeper into the workings of this remarkable company.

An international launch for a global firm

Founded in 1998 by the visionary trio of David Tyrrell, Richard Carbino, and Lawrence Voiades, Traditional Cut Stone has evolved into North America's foremost stonecutting enterprise.

David Tyrrell’s journey from the Ballybrew quarries of Ireland to the stone industry in the United States laid the foundation for Traditional Cut Stone.

The chance encounter with Richard Carbino and the addition of master stonecutter Lawrence Voiades marked the genesis of a company and the collaboration between the trio that has resulted in a legacy that resonates with the philosophy, "We create history."

"It was meant to be," reflects Michael Tyrrell, Vice President and head of sales, on the synergy between the founders. The alignment of their skills, visions, and a touch of serendipity propelled Traditional Cut Stone into existence.

Two of Traditional Cut Stone's craftsmen, at their facility in Mississauga in Ontario, Canada.


The Evolution of Craftsmanship

Today, stepping into the next generation, Michael Tyrrell carries the torch of tradition and innovation. While being raised in a world filled with breathtaking stone, his journey was sparked by a high school trip to the Vatican, and matured into a passion that led him to the School of Restoration Arts at Willowbank. After contributing to restoration and architectural projects both hands-on and as a heritage conservator, Michael returned to the family fold in June 2022, to help lead Traditional Cut Stone into a new era.

The facility of Traditional Cut Stone near Toronto houses a vast array of specialized equipment, including a robotic-arm-equipped CNC machine, and industrial-sized saws. The team has grown from the original eight to 28 including highly skilled artisan stone carvers.


A Calculated Risk for Expansion

Traditional Cut Stone is headquartered in Mississauga in Ontario, Canada and strategically positioned near essential facilities. A pivotal decision to purchase a spacious building, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and ample acreage, reflects the company's commitment to expansion and excellence. Located roughly 30 minutes outside of Toronto, the facility houses a vast array of specialized equipment, including a robotic-arm-equipped CNC machine, and industrial-sized saws. The team has grown from the original eight to 28 including highly skilled artisan stone carvers.

Sourcing the stone

Traditional Cut Stone works with limestone, sandstone, marble, and granite. The company retains an in-house supply of over 50 types of stone and regularly sources additional products. Approximately 60% of the stone comes from across North America, the remainder is sourced internationally – sandstone from England, marble from Italy, and more.

"We know where to find what’s needed. Often just a photo or a small sample of original material will suffice," says Tyrrell. The company works internationally through brokers in Europe and elsewhere.

Michael and David Tyrrell's personal visits to quarries ensures adherence to quality, and confirms that techniques like blasting has or will not take place as it makes the stone unusable.

The visionary trio of Traditional Cut Stone, Lawrence Voiades, Richard Carbino, and David Tyrrell, with the late mayor of Mississauga in Ontario, Canada, Hazel McCallion.


Art and technology collaborate in an intricate process

It begins with a blueprint, a rough hand-drawn sketch, perhaps a blurry photo.

Lawrence Voiades, the in-house Michelangelo, creates a drawing, or several, by hand. From blueprints and hand drawings to clay maquettes, plaster models, and finally, cutting-edge CNC technology and the CNC machine's digital precision – each step is a symphony of creativity and innovation.

“We will raise red flags before they happen. We make measurements. The thoroughness of what we do beforehand ensures success,” says Michael Tyrrell. Each step is scrupulously monitored to ensure that any discrepancies from strict specifications are caught prior to fabrication.

Traditional Cut Stone uses a variety of methods to fabricate the pieces including the classical method of using datum points on the plaster model to measure the high and low parts of the sculpture and a caliper to painstakingly transfer that information to the final piece.

Another way of fabricating is to take a 3D scan of the plaster model. The information taken from the digital 3D scan of the plaster model is inserted into the CNC machine, creating a digital blueprint that guides the robotic arm through the intricate process of cutting and shaping the stone. This process will bring the piece to around 70% completion.

All finishing is done by hand. "That's what sets us apart," says Michael Tyrrell. The final step in fabrication is texturing, a vitally important element. Myriad textures include smooth, split face, leathered, honed, flamed, rocky, bush-hammered, and chiseled with multiple points.


A well-earned reputation that speaks for itself

(Left): A 20-foot wide hand-carved eagle tympanum above the front entrance of the historic Palm Beach County Courthouse. (Center): The Rolex building in Toronto features a stone façade manufactured by Traditional Cut Stone. (Right): A four-ton Pietà, carved from a 10-ton slab of marble, for St. Michael's Catholic Cathedral in Toronto.


The variety of Traditional Cut Stone’s creations is immense.

Finely detailed ornamental carvings replicate forms from every known period of history - classical, medieval, Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque revival and many more through modern and contemporary. Traditional Cut Stone has worked on all: from houses of worship including centuries old cathedrals and mosques, municipal and commercial buildings, many designated as landmarks, to opulent private residences and popular retailers as diverse as Graff Diamonds and Juicy Couture.

It has fashioned capitals for Ionic, Doric and Corinthian columns; egg and dart cornices; innovative signage; ornate banding; grotesques and other figurines including lion’s heads, eagles, wing-ed mythological beings, and cherubs. They have created full-size statues, a Pietà, busts of historic figures – Michelangelo and DaVinci, Lord Nelson- and of prominent contemporary government officials including the late Mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion. They build architectural dimensional elements such as archways, columns, spires and steeples and replace hundreds of stones that must adhere to existing specifications for large-scale restorations.

The company has garnered prestigious accolades, including the first ever Palladio Award in the Craftsmanship category; the Florida Preservation Award, the Tucker Design Award, the Addison Mizner Medal, and the CAHP (Canadian Association for Heritage Professionals) Award. In 2012, Traditional Cut Stone contributed to five of the eight projects nominated for the Heritage Toronto Awards.


Standards are always exceeded

Just meeting requirements is never sufficient for Traditional Cut Stone. “We go above and beyond what’s required. Our main concern is that everyone goes home feeling safe and healthy. We have an open dialogue with our employees,” says Tyrrell.

Compliance with Canada’s Joint Health & Safety Committee or JHS (the Canadian equivalent of OSHA) regulations includes regular verification of respirators’ efficacy and ensuring that industrial fans are operating properly, drawing air away from workers and offering adequate air filtration. The mandated recycling water filtration system keeps the work area humid at all times.

All stone products must meet ASTM standards. Stones are tested for permeability, water resistance, strength, color and variety of coloration through visual, lab and sample verification.

To ensure a successful project, Traditional Cut Stone considers proper packaging and shipping to be paramount. Stones are packaged in multiple layers of wood, Styrofoam, and UV protective film when needed. No wood ever touches stone directly.

Traditional Cut Stone works only with carefully vetted transport professionals. The website notes proudly that no piece has ever been lost or damaged in delivery.

Cataloguing is essential. This is especially apparent when multiple stones, perhaps in the hundreds, are shipped. Carvers keep careful records and assign each stone a label. To guide the installer, the designation is etched onto the stone with a water-resistant labelling crayon in a spot that will not be visible.

Preserving Legacy and Inspiring Future Craftsmen

Traditional Cut Stone Ltd. stands not just as a stonecutting company, but as a custodian of heritage, a pioneer in innovation, inspiring future generations to shape history in stone.

The firm is committed to supporting the industry and its legacy. "More young people need to know about the industry and its potential," says Michael. The hope is to inspire young people in what Voiades calls a “dying art” that is vitally needed.

The Traditional Cut Stone leadership team conducts tours of the facility for students from the Ontario Masonry Training Centre and other schools. They hire interns, and donate carved pieces to Willowbank Heritage Restoration School and other schools throughout Ontario for students to practice on. Traditional Cut Stone is active with North America’s top masonry associations including the Association for Preservation Technology (APT), and the New York Landmarks Conservancy.


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