For the last 30 years I have designed and created memorials stones and tablets both to private commission and through Memorials by Artists. Every stone I have made has been different, a reflection of an individual life.
The design process always seems to take pace over a kitchen table with a client and maybe other members of the family, and thus is always a collaborative process.
I only use indigenous British stone: – Welsh slate, Yorkshire sandstones, various limestones from almost white to a honeyed buff and darker.
Sometimes the design process can take place quite speedily, other times slower with more revision. Then approval that the design fits diocesan regulations has to be sought from the vicar or the cemetery; the stone can then be ordered, sometimes a 2-3 month wait and then shaping, cutting and carving can start. The story of a commissioned hand cut memorial, from the initial meeting to fixing the stone can be a trajectory that is six months to a year long, and sometimes longer.
Often, simplicity of design is key to a good stone……….. simplicity of wording and carving give legibility and the opportunity for a spacious and generous looking layout and design.
A memorial stone is not just a physical marker, but can also form a punctuation mark in a process; it can touch without being sentimental and be representative of a life without being literal.