The "clank, clank, clank" of metal striking rock echoes throughout the neighborhood of East Second Avenue and 14th Street.
Each strike of the hammer and metal chisel masterfully chips away flakes of rock, as the edges become more and more squared.
As dust flies throughout the air on a recent Monday morning, Shaun Claycomb stops to talk about why he chose a life as a stonemason.
The wall of stones he is working on is a small project he took on to stay busy and get away from commercial projects, he said.
"Sometimes it's not about anything but staying busy and doing what you love," Claycomb said as he looked at the wall of stone.
Claycomb, of Durango-based Claycomb Masonry, never thought he would be working as a mason after he left the family business to work in oil fields around the country.
However, when the Michigan native tired of the oil field job, he took the basic skills his father and grandfather taught him and applied them in making a career out of crafting stone, mortar and concrete.
"I've tried doing a couple other things in life, like working in the oil fields, but this is what I like to do," he said. "I worked in a huge shop, and felt like I was in a box."
Claycomb said he moved to Durango in 1989 and got into some trouble. He then started working for a few months until a day he said he always will remember about the city. He has traveled throughout the United States, but Durango residents have friendliness and trust that sets them apart from the rest.
"A school bus stopped, and I looked over," he said. "I heard a girl scream at me, 'I got an A on my English test today!'"
"That definitely doesn't happen in places like Florida," he says.
The project he is working on is for a couple who he said fits into the community that he found in Durango. He said he hasn't found many places that have as strong a sense of community, seem as safe and include such a diverse group of people.
As he looks over the wall, he stretches his back and says his family helped teach him how to work and love stonemasonry. However, his father says he only taught him the basics.
"He is a bit of self-made man," said his father, Stan Claycomb. "Most of it was gained a little bit at a time, and I wouldn't say I really had anything to do with teaching him anything. The basics are the basics."
Learning how to work with the rock and the hard work isn't a big deal to Shaun Claycomb. Neither is the sore back from carrying 140-pound rock, he says. He is enjoying the slow pace of his side project because he loves working as a stonemason.
"You're built the way you're built, and you got to just do what you love to do," he says.
Jason Gonzales is a summer intern at the Herald. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org