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Stonecutters find better way to serve industry

Technology
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Stonecutters from around the country visited Greenville and Easley in March to see how a backyard operation has grown into the most technologically-advanced natural stone fabricator in the country.

John Rozelle, who started Rozelle Stone Co. so he could give up the tie he wore as a CPA, distinguished his company from the others by installing the latest stone-cutting technology manufactured by Park Industries of St. Cloud, Minn., and then by partnering with Greenville’s Hubbell Lighting to create a way for architects and designers so that customers know what their stonework will look like when finished.

Together the two technologies enable stone fabricators to work with designers so that customers have realistic expectations about how the finished product will appear. It saves money and anxiety, according to Rozelle.

Park Industries held its annual digital stoneworking expo in Greenville, with a tour of Rozelle’s Easley facility, so that others around the country could see their latest stonecutting tools at work.

Rozelle Stone does some residential work, but they specialize in large jobs and large areas, with Upstate clients like BMW, GSP Airport and High Cotton. The new equipment not only allows him to run a dust-free shop where stone is cut with precision, but different pieces of stone can be matched so that the patterns – or “movement” of the stone – are complementary.

Even with that, however, the architects and designers still faced the occasional customers who didn’t get what they expected because the stone didn’t look like it did in pictures and showrooms.

“What we needed was a way to show the true color of the stone – the color it will be when it’s in a client’s building,” Rozelle said. Working with Hubbell Lighting, they developed a way to turn up the intensity of the light to match the final home of the stone.

“It means a lot to us and to clients,” Rozelle said. “No one else is doing this but us.”

About 70 people attended the expo from around the country.

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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