Memorial Stone Masons Engraving
The majority of letters are cut into the stone. This is either done by the skilled mason using a hammer and chisel, or on granite, he may sandblast the letters using a stencil. Letters can be left after being cut but normally they would be finished in a variety of ways, depending on the stone.
Light coloured stones could have blacked letters which are painted with a black paint.
Lead is hammered into the cut letter space and polished to a smooth finish.
The letter space is undercoated, filled with gold leaf and then lacquered to help preserve it. This is generally for dark granites.
The same as above but silver filled with palladium leaf.
It is possible to paint letters in a variety of colours, subject to permission being sought.
On light coloured memorials there is also a type of lettering known as raised lead. The shape of the letter is drilled onto the face of the headstone and painted black. All types of lettering should last a good many years; the blacked letters may possibly need re-blacking after a few years because the paint wears thin on the soft stones as they are more porous. A lot depends on how the memorial is cared for (see Cleaning and Renovating Memorials). Also the situation of the headstone will denote how the elements may affect it.
Most designs that you see in our office booklets on memorials, or a design that you provide us with, can be etched onto new granite memorials. We will be pleased to discuss with you anything from simple crosses and flowers to more elaborate figures and scenes.
Once again, we will endeavour to carve whatever design you require.