Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not All Monuments Are Created Equally

If there is one thing that I did not realize prior to entering the monument industry, it is that not all monuments are created equally. Why? Because creating monuments is a true artform. And, just like the artists that you are familiar with, styles, techniques and abilities vary from monument builder to monument builder.

Over the next few weeks I will do a blog series about the many ways in which monument builders, and their styles, vary.

This Week's Topic is Shape Carving.

Shape carving is a term used when we refer to giving images dimension by use of a hand held sandblaster. Our guys suit up in a special helmet that offers an oxygen supply as well as other protective gear, and shape the images by hand. As you can imagine, this requires not only a high level of artistry, but a steady hand as well!

The interesting thing to know about shape carving is that many monument builders simply take a design and blow holes into it; this is a sad attempt to make the image appear as though it has shape...as seen below with this border I stumbled accross in a local cemetery. In this picture you will notice that the monument builder who is responsible for this work left the leaves flat and simply blew elongated holes into them in.

An example of poorly done shape carving. Done by another monument company.

The border above is an example of how many monument companys shape carve. They utilize techniques that save them time (and money), and give the consumer a product that is of sub-quality work. Another reason that some monument builders utilize this method is that they simply don't know how to do it any other way. Shape carving is a true artform whose teachings have been largely lost through the decades.

However, the correct way to do shape carving (the way we do it) is to take the image and actually round it in places where the image would naturally have dimension should it be found in nature. It is a time consuming task, but well worth the effort, as seen below with our own shape carved border.

The way a shape carved border should look! Here we have gently rounded the leaves to make them appear more natural. This is the correct way to do shape carving. This work was done at Emerson Monument Company.

This photo offers a close-up view of the shape carved leaf.

I hope you have found this post to be both interesting and helpful! At Emerson Monument Company we do things the right way the first time, and believe in offering a high quality product without cutting corners. If you have any questions about our monuments, please check out our website or give us a call.

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