In the Granite Industry there are many different steps used in getting to the final granite product. Here is a bit of information on the process of making granite into something beautiful...
Most people think of a grave marker as a headstone, a tombstone or a gravestone. In the granite industry these are usually called upright memorials -see our selection on the Memorial Page. In the granite industry there are many steps that go into making a memorial or granite product. The first step is the granite has to be quarried. In Vermont we have our Barre Gray Granite Quarry, Bethel White Granite Quarry and Woodbury Gray Granite Quarry. There are many granites from all over the world, the ones mentioned are only quarried in Vermont. We use only the best grade granites from around the world when making our granite memorials and granite products. The granite is blasted out of the side of the mountain with dynamite and the granite comes out in big chunks or big blocks. Think of a full loaf of bread. These large blocks are brought to a saw plant where they are sliced into different thicknesses, 3/4", 2", 4", 6", 8" and so forth. When these slabs are done being sawed they are then laid out into different sized stones. Usually the thinner sized pieces of granite are used for granite counter tops or granite facade on a building. The 2" thick pieces of granite are usually used for granite pavers and the 4" thick granite stock is used for grass markers, AKA flush markers. Sometimes these granite markers are called foot stones or headstones because they lie flat on the ground and can be at the head or foot of the grave.
Upright granite markers are most commonly 8" thick but they can also be 6" thick or thicker. The rule of thumb is whatever the thickness of the granite upright the granite base height will be the height of the granite upright thickness. So, if your granite upright is 8" thick then the granite base will be 8" high. These are things that you might not ever think of. Also, you can have an eight inch thick granite upright marker with a one foot high granite base. It really depends on the cemetery rules and regulations as to what you can have for a granite memorial or granite marker.
There are so many different things to think about when you purchase a granite memorial. What size is the granite memorial going to be? Usually that is determined by the size lot you buy at the cemetery. The cemetery creates their rules and regulations and all cemeteries are different. So make sure to ask them what size granite memorial you can have before purchasing it. There are also many different types of granite memorials and different styles of granite memorials -see Memorial Page.
If you go to our Granite Color Chart Page you will learn more about all of the colored granites from around the world that we can use to make your granite memorial. There are different types of carvings you can have on your granite memorial. One of the oldest and greatest is hand sculpting. Hand sculpting is done by a very skilled sculptor. We have full relief sculpting which is a hand carving that is in full, carved all the way around and life like. An ecce homo sculpting is a sculpting done in a niche on the face of a granite memorial. Our artisans can make beautiful sculptings to represent you and your family. Contact us today.
Hand Etchings are when a skilled artisan uses a diamond tipped etching tool to scratch the granite's polished surface and create a timeless portrait that is a true piece of art. Hand etchings can have color added to them for a more realistic representation. See note below.
Laser Etchings are done with a special machine that uses a fine laser on the granite. We take your cherished family photos or family portraits, scan them into a specialized computer and actually laser them on the face of the granite. The laser burns the polished surface to make the photo's exact look on the granite. This is one of the reasons we ask that you use a clear photo so when we do scan it in the computer it will not be flawed in anyway. Laser etching is not a deep etching. Also, the laser etching can be painted to look like the original photo. See note below.
Note: Painting granite is like painting a house. If the granite is used in the outside elements, in time, the paint may flake or peel away from the granite memorial.
Sandblast Engraving is achieved by using a high pressured blowing room to blast sand into granite for inscribing letters, numbers, pictures and designs. Sandblast engravings are carved deeper into the granite or marble and can last a lifetime. Sandblast designs are not as detailed as laser etchings because of how the sand comes out at such a high force it could ruin the characters or designs. Usually the smallest letters we can sandblast are 1/2" using a special font, ask us for details.
Hand Tooling is when a highly skilled artisan shapes and carves numbers and letters out of stone by hand,creating different styles of lettering. Some examples of hand tooled letters are script letters, round raised letters, square raised letters and V-sunk letters. Other fonts can be hand tooled in granite too.
Thermal Finish is a rough, non slippery finish used for pavers and stair treads and other granite items. It is done by heating up the granite with a blow torch for a rougher texture.