Crafting a Memorial by Hand


    

Computer rendering is used to create personalized memorials. Each order is printed for the customer to approve layout, spelling, and dates.

        

The approved drawing is cut onto a stencil which is pulled away to reveal the area to be sandblasted. Hand tools and sandblast tools are used to create different effects on the granite.

        

Sand is blasted through a hose that is directed by hand towards the granite. 

    


A compressor is used to force the sand at the granite. Bright lights are used to illuminate the piece being crafted.

    


Glue is used to adhere the different parts of the stencil. Many monument designs go through several steps before the final result is achieved. Tiles can also be inlaid into the granite surface.
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Above are photographs taken from our sandblast rooms. All work in the sandblast rooms is done by hand by trained craftsmen. First a stencil is cut using computer generation, then it is applied to the granite. The areas to be cut are then removed by hand using a knife. Once this is omplete the craftsmen move the monument into the sandblast room. They work behind a curtain showering the granite with fine abrasive. The abrasive can not penetrate through the stencil which enables the craftsman to completely control where the sand hits the granite monument. This also allows the fine carving of roses and other types of flowers. Carving roses is completed inside the sandblast room with the craftsman wearing protective clothing and a hood.


Crafting A Memorial Using Our Sandman Machine
Last year we purchased a state of the art Sandman machine which carves monuments using only a computer. The craftsmen still have to perform the first few steps as above; cutting the stencil, pulling out the lettering and setting up the monument, but from that point on the computer finishes the monument. The machine is connected to a computer that knows which monument it is working on, the type of lettering and design that it has, and how deep to blast each specific area. The addition of this machine has greatly improved our turn around time by allowing our craftsmen to run the machine and at the same time carve monuments by hand in the adjacent sandblast rooms. 

    

     



Carving our Signature Deep Cut Rose 
Here is a series of photographs showing the process of creating our deep carved roses. Our craftsmen have spent years perfecting this exact technique to fully utilize the abilities of the sandblast room. 

The stencil is cut for the rose.
First the outline is sandblasted.
Next the stencil is removed over the petals.
This is done so that the petals can be shaped.  
Here the petals have been slightly scooped down. 
Later in the process they will be blasted deeper.
This step shows the stencil being removed from the 
inner petal area. 
Here the inner petals have been rounded.
The rose is beginning to take shape. 
Here is another angle of the same step.
The top of the petals are still straight across.
The final deep carved rose. 
The smoothness of the granite is perfect.
Note the perfect swirl in the center. 
Compare it to the photograph directly above. 


Here's a panoramic view of our shop that we use to create all of our etching work. The laser is on the far left side.