OBERLIN, OH -- Richard Stahl (Galloy & Van Etten) has been named 2023 Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year

Richard Stahl stood by his father’s side at the tender age of six, gradually learning the intricacies and skills of the stone business. He eventually began his own career at the age of 16 as a laborer in his father’s cut-stone company. Richard quicky acquired the necessary skills to become a bridge saw operator, and within a year, was promoted to planer operator, a job at which he excelled, but he and his father both knew his true passion was for stone carving.

Carrying on in the family stone tradition, Richard completed his journeyman apprenticeship in 1980 under the wings of a master carver who was also a great mentor and cherished friend.
 In 1983, Richard opened his own stone carving studio in an old chicken coop, working tirelessly in the evenings and weekends to create original designs, models, and stone carvings, as he continued to work full-time at the stone shop.
 Richard carved in his own studio full-time for ten years, collaborating with architects, contractors, and various local stone fabricators. He eventually returned full-time to the industry, settling in at Galloy & Van Etten in 1993, where he immediately shared his passion for the stone business while demonstrating his versatility carving in a large variety of stone types.
 As a third-generation stone carver with nearly 30 years as an essential part of Galloy & Van Etten, Richard is a master carver that takes great pride in teaching his coworkers the craft. He has mentored countless planer operators, cutters, and carvers over the years, sharing his expertise, love and passion for working with natural stone. 

Richard believes in continuing the tradition of his trade and in giving back to his community. He is a founding member of The Stone Carvers Guild. He has conducted educational programs for local boy and girl scouts, schools, and church groups, some of which have been recipients of his various stone carvings and sculptures.

Nominations for the 2023 Craftsman of the Year Award are being accepted until May 20. Learn more at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/craftsman