In eras past, fine stonework such as the markings on headstones was chiseled out by hand in a slow and meticulous process taking days to complete. Today, stone inscriptions are engraved with the use of special, machine-driven bladed or chisel-point tools like a Dremel or an electro-stylus, or is executed with lasers. There is also a far quicker method that combines fine artistic detailing with fast production aided by computer design and industrial machinery. That method is sandblasting.
The creation of finely engraved cemetery monuments through Sand Blasting in New Haven stone monument shops is a fascinating process. The pattern to be blasted into the granite or marble surface is first created in a CAD file on a desktop by a staff graphic artist. Clients can select from a file of pre-designed patterns or turn in a unique design to be rendered as line-vector artwork in the CAD program by the artist.
When finished, the CAD file is used as the basis for a rubber stencil. The stencil itself is cut on a bench by computer-guided tools or lasers. Afterward, the blank headstone is ready to have stencil filler applied. The rubber stencil is then carefully laid down onto the coated side of the headstone until the filler sets. When the stencil is secured, the stone is then moved into the sandblasting cabinet, the door sealed, and the operator just throws the switch. High-velocity sand jets right onto the stone, with the pattern in the stencil leaving those areas of the stone face exposed, and the design is carved directly into the face of the block. The result: a finely detailed work of engraved line art and lettering produced within minutes rather than days. The stencil is then peeled off; the stone cleaned of excess sand and dirt, and another monument is ready for display.
The use of Sand Blasting in New Haven by creators of monumental stones allows for the quick yet finely detailed execution of the work in mere hours. A selection of monuments sans the actual engraving for the departed is produced in quantity and displayed for potential clients to select from. Click here to view examples of the completed headstones and the available selections to choose from.