This is a time-consuming technique that requires years of training with sandblast tools. This process involves shaping the petals and leaves of flowers with a special sandblast nozzle. Shaped carving gives depth and a sense of reality to the carvings on a monument.
Etching (Laser & Hand)
Typically used on black granite, this technique cracks the surface of the granite using a diamond-tipped tool or a laser. When the granite's polished surface is etched it creates a high contrast image on the stone. This is popular for photos and portraits.
Polished Finish - Abrasives are rubbed on the surface of the stone with high-speed polishing wheels to create a polished surface
Polished Margin - The surface is polished and a panel area is frosted, making a place for lettering.
Sawed, Steeled, Frosted - This matte finish is created by sawing the surface. It may also be accomplished by sandblasting the surface with steel shot, or by frosting it with sandblast sand.
Hewn (Rock Pitch)
Shell Rock - This is a hewn surface with hewn sides. This also referred to as Rock Pitch when seen on the sides of a monument.
We offer many styles of lettering. In addition to a variety of fonts, we also offer a variety of techniques for carving lettering into stone. This involves different outline treatments as well as different processes for finishing the stone or panel area around lettering. Here are some samples that may help you with your selection.
Sunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Modified Roman)
Frosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Sans Serif/Optima)
Frosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Modified Roman)
Sunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Uncial Gothic)
Square Edge Raised Letters in a Straight Line Panel (Modified Classic Roman)
Frosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Custom Font/Hand-Drawn)
Sunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Old English)
Frosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Old English)
Sunk (Sandblasted) Into Polish (Vermarco)
Sunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Condensed Modified Roman)
Sunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Modified Roman)
Round Edge Raised Letters in Relief (Custom Lettering/Hand-Drawn)
Round Edge Raised Letters in a Straight Line Panel (Modified Classic Roman)
There are many techniques for carving stone or etching images into a stone surface. Here are four of the most popular processes.
Bas Relief - The entire surface of the monument is cut away, leaving the flowers in bas relief on top of the other surface.
Etching - Typically used on black granite, this technique cracks the surface of the granite using a diamond-tipped tool or a laser. When the granite's polished surface is etched it creates a high contrast image on the stone. This is popular for photos and portraits.
Flat Carving or Line Carving - This process involves sandblasting an image (of a flower, for example) on the stone. There is no dimensioning or relief given to the carving.
Shaped Carving - This is a time-consuming technique that requires years of training with sandblast tools. This process involves shaping the petals and leaves of flowers with a special sandblast nozzle. Shaped carving gives depth and a sense of reality to the carvings on a monument.
While this list is not a complete list of all symbols used in memorial art, it serves as a comprehensive guide to some of the more popular symbols found in cemeteries.
Aesculapian Rod: A serpent and staff thought by many to be the proper symbol for doctors instead of the winged Caduceus.
Anchor: Hope; Jesus the anchor of the soul, traditional maritime symbol
Axe: A vow, consecration, defense
Banner: Triumph, victory
Bell: Invitation, call to worship
Birds: Human souls
Bishop's Staff: Pastoral authority
Book: The Bible, Divine authorship, knowledge, scripture
Broken Column: Death
Butterfly: The Resurrection
Caduceus: Symbol of the medical profession (There are many variations depending upon the area of specialty.)
Candle: Jesus Christ the Light of the World, also the symbol of devotion
Candlesticks (two): Jesus’ qualities as both God and man
Candlesticks (three) or Three-Branched Candelabrum: The Holy Trinity
Candlesticks (five) or Five-Branched Candelabrum: The five wounds of Christ
Candlesticks (six) or Six-Branched Candelabrum: The six days of creation or the six hours spent by Jesus on the cross
Candlesticks (seven) or Seven-Branched Candelabrum: The Church, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, or the Seven Sacraments
Circle: Eternity, completeness, perfection
Crossed Keys: St. Peter, Gates of Heaven
Crown: Rank, sovereignty, royalty
Crown of Thorns: The Suffering Savior, a Passion symbol
Cross: Christ and His atoning death, Christ’s redemption of fallen humanity
Dove: Peace, purity, meekness, modesty, humility, the Holy Ghost, divine inspiration, innocence
Eagle: Christ, Holy Baptism, St. John
Fire: Martyrdom, zeal, inspiration, youthful fervor, hell, purgatory, sacrifice, purification
Fish/Three: The Trinity
Five-Pointed Star: The wounds of Christ, the Star of Jacob, Divine guidance and protection
Flaming Sword: Expulsion from Eden, with shield: St. Michael
Grapes: The Eucharist, twelve bunches: the Apostles, clusters of grapes on a running vine: Jesus and His followers, the Church, unity
Hand: Issuing from clouds: the Father
Harp: Joy, music, symbol of St. Cecilia patron saint of musicians, associated with David and worship, worship in heaven
Heart: Christian charity, surmounted by a flame: intense zeal or devotion
Lamb: Innocence, purity, sacrifice, Christ
Lamp: Knowledge, truth, enlightenment, Word of God, good works, Divine inspiration
Pastoral Staff: Authority
Pierced Heart: With a lance or spear, a Passion symbol
Plenty, Horn of: The Lord's bounty, Thanksgiving
Pomegranate: The Resurrection, immortality, royalty, fertility, The Church
Pyramid: Light, strength
Rod: Official power, also a Passion symbol
Rope: A Passion symbol, Judas' death
Rose: Love, Christ, The Nativity.
Rosette: An ornament in the form of a conventional rose or other design of circular form, used as a decoration
Scallop Shell: Baptism, the Baptism of Christ, Christian pilgrimage, and marine affairs
Serpent: Death, wisdom
Seven Golden Candlesticks: The Seven Churches of Asia Minor
Seven-Branched Candlestick: The Church, The Seven Churches of Asia Minor, The Seven Angels of the Apocalypse, The Seven Gifts of the Sheep, Christians
Twelve Sheep: The Twelve Apostles, sheep and goats: the redeemed and the lost
Shield: Faith, protection
Shepherd’s Crook: Authority, Dominion
Staff: Religious jurisdiction, kindness, shepherd-like qualities/responsibilities
Star: Christ, life
Sword: Power, justice, authority, martyrdom
Trumpet: Call to worship, call of the Holy Spirit, Judgment Day, resurrection
Urn: Death, sorrow (draped)
Wings: Aspiration, flight of the Gospel
While this list is not a complete list of all flowers, trees and other plants used in memorial art, it serves as a comprehensive guide to some of the more popular symbols found in cemeteries.
Apple: The fall of man, sin, Eve, discord, Virgin Mary
Apple Blossom: Fame
Calla Lily: Sympathy, zeal
Cornucopia/Horn of Plenty: Bounty, blessings, Thanksgiving
Cultivated Rose: Everlasting love
Daisy: The Christ Child's innocence, youth, righteousness, innocence
Easter Lily: Resurrection
Grape Vine: The Eucharist, The Church, unity, Christ and his followers
Iris: God-like qualities, eloquence, a message, protection
Ivy: Memory, remembrance, faithfulness, friendship, (often seen with oak)
Laurel Wreath: Triumph, victory, distinction, reward, good report
Lily: Easter, resurrection, the Virgin Mary, purity
Lily of the Valley: The Virgin Mary, humility, purity, return of happiness
Morning Glory: Resurrection, youth, promise, bonds of love and affection
Oak: Strength, virtue, character, eternity, endurance, forgiveness, independence (often seen with ivy)
Olive Branch: Peace, victory
Orange Blossom: Matrimony, chastity, purity
Palm: Victory, eternal peace, heavenly reward, success, righteousness, martyrdom, victory over sin and death
Passion Flower: Crucifixion, Passion of Christ
Pine: Eternity, everlasting life
Pineapple: Friendship, hospitality
Pine Cone: Fertility, regeneration, healing
Poinsettia: Christmas, birth of Hope
Pomegranate: Resurrection, immortality, royalty, eternity, The Church
Poppy: Sleep, consolation, rest
Rose: Love, Christ, Nativity, joy, martyrdom
Rosette: Decorative form of rose in a circle
Sunflower: Adoration, glory, the soul turning to Christ
Thistle: Independence, austerity, sin, the fall of man
Tulip: Love, charity, declaration of love, ardent affection
Violets: Modesty, humility, graciousness, affection, faithfulness, sweetness, loyalty
Wheat: Riches, thanksgiving, life, bread of life, Body of Christ
Wheat/Bundle: Harvest, bounty
Wild Rose: Love, Christ, Messianic promise