Oberlin, OH, February 22, 2023—Timothy Johnston (Rugo Stone) has been named 2022 Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year.
Brett Rugo, president of Rugo Stone, describes Timothy Johnston as a humble craftsman who stands out in a time when most people are satisfied with mediocracy. Johnston began his career in the stone industry in 1985 at Wood and Stone, Inc. in Virginia, as a stone carving apprentice working hand in hand with renowned master stone carver Harold C. Vogel, also a stone restoration master from Ansbach, Germany. Johnston earned the esteemed title of master carver by 1996 and worked another 10 years at Wood and Stone, Inc. in Virginia where he completed many restoration and carving projects.
He ventured out on his own as a master carver, chasing various carving and lettering projects completed under the company name Stone Graphix by Tim.
In 2018 he joined Rugo Stone where he remains a master carver, engraver, mason, and restoration specialist. In just 4 short years Johnston has provided expert craftsmanship on some of Rugo Stone’s finest award-winning projects, including engraving and restoration on The Reach Donor Wall and hand cut lettering in the Hall of Nations, both at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC. He performed the meticulous Astor Altar restoration at Trinity Church in New York City, as well as carved a replica of the Oval Office marble fireplace for the New York State Historical Society.
Rugo remarks: “Tim’s stone carving skill is excellent, but what separates him from so many others is his in-depth knowledge of each job, each job’s stone types and their limits, and his ability to provide a constant steady onsite leadership presence.” Rugo credits Tim for continuously mentoring and inspiring a younger generation of stone professionals, teaching the classical art of stone carving.
Tim has amassed an impressive portfolio of restoration and carving projects ranging from ecclesiastical statues to federal monuments. He possesses an extensive knowledge of stone restoration and carving techniques and is a highly accomplished stone engraver and hand cut letterer.
Rugo has worked with Tim for over two decades. “He is a true American stone craftsman,” Rugo explains, “able to take directions, perform his own layout drawings, and develop his own recommendations to meet or most often exceed the expectation of the client.”
Tim’s commitment to his work is exemplified by his strong work ethic. Rugo has witnessed him take work home, work countless hours at night – studying plans, checking details, talking to the project managers, all so that the next day he is fully prepared to provide his best effort and complete the project with the highest standards possible. Tim’s leadership and craftsmanship for carving and engraving is evidenced by the high number of complex projects that have earned Rugo Stone so many awards.
Nominations for the 2023 Craftsman of the Year Award are being accepted until May 20. Learn more at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/craftsman.
About the Natural Stone Institute
The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing every aspect of the natural stone industry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 nations. The association offers a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org.