On a windy Tuesday evening, a small but eager crowd turned out at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library to watch limestone craftsman Matt Bruce demonstrate his stonecarving process. With a boisterous sense of humor and a knack for storytelling, Matt described the broader picture of limestone work in Indiana, as well as his own work at Bybee Stone Company of Bloomington and later, Architectural Stone Sales of Bedford.
This demonstration was a special opportunity for Hoosiers to get an insider’s perspective of Indiana’s living limestone industry. In Bloomington, for example, one is surrounded by beautiful stonework all around town: local stone-built churches and homes as well as Indiana University’s lovely campus are a testament to Indiana’s special tradition of limestone craftsmanship. Even the handmade rock walls surrounding many yards and gardens are constructed from limestone. While the limestone tradition is ubiquitous on the surface, relatively few Hoosiers have a chance to learn about the work, process, and craftsmen behind the stone. With Matt Bruce’s talent for speaking, TAI and the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library were able to connect community to craftsman, giving us all a deeper sense of meaning to living in Indiana.