For each piece he manufactures he follows a rigorous process which can be divided into five phases:
The design of the piece.
To carry out the design of the piece, it is drawn first. Then some templates (made out of fine wood or cardboard) are obtained for the different mouldings or reliefs. Sometimes they make models out of gypsum or clay, depending on the complexity of the piece.
Preparation of the raw material.
The most commonly-used raw material is grey Quintana granite (the local granite from the area of Los Pedroches). This material is obtained in blocks of stone with the approximate dimensions of the designed model. They also carry out works using different types of granite and marble on request.
Quality control of the raw material.
Depending on the piece which is going to be carved, they use different quality granites. Thus, they use stones with a more aged appearance for restoration works and lighter and cleaner stones for new works. The remaining pieces of the blocks which have been cut are used for cobblestones, curbs and other masonry elements.
Shaping of the piece.
The design is marked on the piece by the pointing technique and tracing a series of lines with the aid of templates or models. Next, the stone is roughened until it reaches approximately the shape which was previously sketched on the stone. Right after that, the careful and meticulous carving of the piece is carried out, giving it the finish that is requested which can be of different types (bush hammered, polished or rough). The carving and finish of the stone is carried out manually using traditional tools such as the bell hammer, uñetas de videa (hand chisels), bull point chisels and bush hammers.
Quality control of the product.
Once the piece is finished it is checked to see if the shape and size coincide with the measurements of the templates or models.
During the production process the following implements, tools and machinery are used: grinding machines (angled or straight), wrecking bar, manual and pneumatic bush hammers, chisels, compressors, cutters, wedges, pichotes (slap stone wedge), hand tracers, brushes, uñetas de videa (hand chisels), bell hammers, levers, safety glasses, gloves, headsets to protect from loud noises, square mason’s mallets, manual and pneumatic hammers, dust masks, sledgehammers, measuring tapes, pantographs, pickaxes, pumice stone and emery, polishing machine, bull point chisels, punches, angle grinders, percussion power drills, overhead cranes to move other pieces and others.
The basic raw materials they use are: oils, water, hydraulic lime, air lime, Portland cement, organic solvent, gypsum, soap, polishing liquids, various kinds of stone (granite, limestone, alabaster, marble of both fine and thick grain, slate), paints, resins, and others.
The products they manufacture include: the restoration of monuments, fountains, gatehouses, façades, busts, chimneys, columns, cornices, coats of arms, pantheons, decorative elements, finishing elements as well as other ornamental ones. They also elaborate: paving stones, curbs and tiles.
They have introduced a series of updates in the different phases of the production process, since they have started to use certain tools which save efforts.
He first came into contact with the world of masonry and carving granite at a very young age, as he belongs to a family with a vast trajectory in the craft. They dedicated their lives to the manufacture of ornamental elements: fountains, chimneys, façades and they worked in the restoration of monuments. Today, he uses traditional techniques to which he incorporates innovative procedures, retrieving the intricacies of the craft which once was of great importance in the area of the Valle de los Pedroches but which unfortunately today is under the risk of disappearing.
Since 1988 he has been carrying out his artisanal activity in a stone workshop where he has been incorporating apprentices throughout the years.
Restoration of the Castle of Belmez and the Cathedral of La Sierra (Hinojosa del Duque).