Advances in technology have increased the scope for bespoke memorial designs. Images can be etched or sandblasted, while ornamentation can be carved far more easily due to CNC (computer numerical control)
The photographs below are just a small selection of the images that we have added to headstones over the years. We have had requests for cars, train engines, rugby balls, guitars and even a pint of Guinness. Such imagery may reflect your loved one’s previous employment or hobby. Alternatively the image may be an indication of their roots. People of Irish origin, for example, will often seek shamrocks or harps.
Creating a memorial for a child’s grave is never an easy job for a mason. However when we are asked to provide imagery, such as their favourite football shirt or a cartoon character, we hope this brings some solace to the parents and helps them remember the happy times. Popular children’s characters we have created include Shrek, Woody from Toy Story and Superman. Sometimes though we have instead been asked to provide an image of a cherub sleeping, or angel weeping.
As well as the bespoke memorial designs, we continue to receive lots of request for traditional images. Crosses, Jesus and the Virgin Mary are common religious themes, but the more secular may instead go for a floral tribute or rings.
Images tend to be laser etched or sandblasted. Laser etching is usually for grayscale images and involves cutting away the polished surface of the headstone by using the heat of a laser beam and very fine pointed stencil, revealing the lighter material underneath. If images are to be coloured in, then the sandblasting technique is more likely. With this, an abrasive material or compressed air is propelled onto the polished surface to forcibly remove it.
When deciding if you wish to have grayscale or colour images, the headstone material is a key factor. Black granite tends to look best with just grayscale, but a grey granite memorial can work well with blue shaded images. If your image is predominantly red, then potentially sandstone is better. So depending on whether your loved one was a City or United fan, that is something you may wish to consider.
If memorial ornamentation is to be an integral part of the headstone, then it may well be created by using the CNC method. This essentially means that the cutting machines movements are controlled by a computer programme, making the process speedier and more accurate. Ornamentation that we have provided using CNC include doves and flowers, but we have also had a request for a horses head and horseshoe.
At Alberti, Lupton & Co we have the largest selection of memorials in Greater Manchester on display at our premises. If you wish to have bespoke images added and have something specific in mind, we will be more than happy to guide you on what goes best with different materials. Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide assistance.
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