The primary purposes for headstones, also known as gravestones, tombstones, memorial stones, and grave markers, is to identify the deceased and to honor and memorialize those who have passed away. The earliest form was made of slate, then along came marble, but by the mid-1800’s, granite had come on the scene and quickly became the preferred material. To this day, granite is the material of choice and with Sand Blasting in CT, almost limitless designs and words can be carved to create the ultimate memorial.
There was a time when the art of stone carving was on a par equal to practicing medicine or law. With modern advancements, many of the skilled components of the trades are no longer needed. Although modern sandblasting has replaced many of the jobs a sculptor once did, there are skills still required. Sandblasting is simply a tool used by the sculptor and how skilled the sculptor is at wielding that tool, is what makes the difference.
In the beginning, sandblasting was used to clean metal. When applied to granite, sandblasting removes the polish from the granite’s surface to reveal the contrast between unpolished and polished granite. It is the variations of depth that result in varying effects on the granite.
Back in the day, sculptors engraved and designed granite monuments by hand. Later, the use of templates and stencils come into the process. Modern designs are drafted on a computer first, using CAD programs and then transferred to CNC a machine that precisely cuts the design onto a multi-layered stencil.
The portions of the stencil that will be sandblasted are peeled off and the stencil is affixed to a blank piece of stone. The stone is then placed into a Sand Blasting in CT unit where highly pressurized air combined with aluminum oxide particles is directed at the stone with tiny nozzles. This produces an abrasive effect which wears away the stone.
Intricate details like three-dimensional artwork are completed with hand-held abrasive air tools and less commonly by hand. The nozzles are very small, measuring only 1/8-inch in diameter. Once this step is complete, the sculptor will perform any final touches.
Sandblasting experts like Shelley Bros Inc can create life-size monuments, headstones, grave markers, pet memorial markers, name signs, and engraved bricks. Dozens of shapes and colors are available, ranging from greens to pinks, to gray or black. Heart-shaped, oval, square, rectangular, slanted, flat, plain or simple shapes.