Josep María is a master in the field of stone carving, from the cutting of the stone to the final finish of the pieces using manual techniques for manufacturing ashlars. He shapes manually the stone for it to have the right measurements, using a bull point chisels to eliminate exceeding mass. He carries out the finishes of the pieces using bush hammers or toothed stone axes, and giving it all sorts of possible textures by using traditional tools. On occasions he re-uses stone coming from demolitions, adapting it to the shapes, styles and necessary measurements for each project to be carried out. He uses templates to carry out mouldings for parapets, arches, Gothic-style and Romanesque-style windows, etc.
The finishes with patina textures are carried out manually with a chisel or a toothed stone axe, in the same way they were traditionally carried out. The sculptural technique he also carries out is the traditional one linked to the craft of stonemasons: he draws on top of the stone the shapes he aims to achieve and carves it until he finds the design he’s searching for.
Today there are different technological advances with lasers that, by reading moldings templates or various shapes, allow their reproduction in stone by cutting with diamond discs. Great advances can be made in work through a good prior design and the use of this tool. The new technologies for cutting stone, in his particular case, are only used for the rouging of the exceeding material.
Josep María has led works concerning both national and private heritage. He is an expert in the identification of materials of different periods, and in their restoration and conservation. He is capable of interpreting plans, is good in the field of artistic drawing and geometry and has basic knowledge on history of art and different architectural styles. He also knows a lot about different types of stone, granites and natural marble stones, as well as about their classification, composition and hardness.
He masters the following techniques: cutting stone both dry and with water; polishing stone elements; working and protecting stone; treating surfaces; restoring stone elements; assembling and dismantling scaffoldings; and handling and maintenance of the different tools and machines used in the craft.
The tools he uses are: wedges, maces, sledgehammers, pickaxes, hammers, bush hammers, stone masonry axes, mallets, squares, compasses, rulers, measuring implements, bull point chisels, toothed stone axes, chisels of different sizes and shapes, levers, firmer chisels and plumb bobs. Stone is the raw material of masonry works, varying the techniques and tools which are used depending on the characteristics of the stone: its hardness, fragility, composition, geology…
He learnt the craft from his father, who was a master stonemason, after a period of about 5 years. As well as that, he also broadened his knowledge in a self-taught manner thanks to his own interventions and research projects.
He has had four apprentices training at his workshop for a minimum period of six years.
Today, he is a university teacher and he teaches restoration techniques regarding stone and others for buildings belonging to the artistic and architectural heritage. He is working on the creation of a school of arts and crafts for the retrieval of crafts.
He continues to fight for heritage as the president of the Association of Crafts and Heritage in Catalonia, and as the President of the Fundación Armengol linked to the Cultural Heritage of Costa Rica.
– Walls of Hostalric, Girona, under the direction of the architect Juan Bassegoda. Manufacture of the entrance arch to the villa in the northern part of the walls.
– He took part in the restoration works of the bell tower of Santa Maria de Cistella, Alt Empordà, Girona.
– Monastery of Vallbona de les Monges, belonging to the Cistercian order, for the Government in Catalonia.
– Restoration of the arches and stone windows for the Castle of la Pobla de Claramunt, Barcelona.
– Renaissance-style staircase in Bellpuig d’Urgell, Lérida.
– Restoration of the gothic nerves of the Basilica of San Félix in Girona.
– Restoration of the gothic windows of the Castle of Godmar in Badalona.
– He has retrieved several arches dating from the 16th century in Arenys de Munt, Barcelona: the arch located in the portal of the Town Council, the one located in the Public Library and one in a private dwelling located in la calle Panagall.
Other relevant works of his are: The Monastery of San Salvador de Breda, The pantheons (Girona). The Town Council and Library in Arenys de Munt, (Barcelona). The house dating from the 15th century Can Milans, the Library in Caldes d’Estrac (Barcelona). The Library in Calella de la Costa (Barcelona). The restoration of the Church of Calella de la Costa (Barcelona). The façade of the clinic la Alianza Mataronense (Mataró). The restoration of the gothic arches of the Basilica of Sant Feliu (Girona). Restoration of the church in Alcocer (Guadalajara), known as the Cathedral of La Alcarria. The Palacio de Alzoaras, Cestoa (Guipúzcoa). Dwellings in Tossa de Mar (Girona). Town Council in Tordera (Barcelona).