Meet Brooks Burleson
Stonework is a labor of love for Brooks Burleson, owner of Natural Stone Installation. With the help of his full-time mason and protégé, Matt Byrd, Brooks creates designs that grace the landscapes of homes throughout the Triangle, as well as parks, museums, schools and public gardens. Those who have visited Duke Gardens have likely seen his work, as he has created many of the retaining walls, walking paths and garden art throughout the grounds.
A stone mason and artisan for more than 35 years, Brooks incorporates both aesthetics and functionality into his work. In recent years, he has applied his creative vision to projects ranging from stone fences and walkways to backyard hearth ovens and intricate mosaic pathways. With a strong artistic background, he includes stone carving in his body of work – creating pieces of art such as small garden stepping-stones and home accessories and gifts.
Natural Stone Installation is known for building very substantial retaining walls with integrated boulders and quarried slab steps. Brooks has extensively studied and practiced old techniques of moving and setting very large stones by hand – a necessary approach when the use of large machinery is not feasible due to existing landscaping or other constraints. He has worked by hand with stones that weigh more than 9,500 pounds, using tools such as sleds, log rollers, block and tackle, levers and fulcrums. With machinery, he has set stones in excess of 15,000 pounds.