Decades ago, all memorials and headstones of our loved ones were created by hand. A memorial artist utilized their hands, hammer, and chisel to form the words and images that beautifully capture those we've lost for time immemorial. However, traditional hand-carved memorials, as beautiful as they were, had some limitations. Many designs were restricted in what could be carved into markers, resulting in less unique and intricate decoration, often that of praying hands or cherubs. While these were tastefully rendered with care, such images became so plentiful it was often difficult to distinguish one loved one's resting place from another.
Today, the choices offered to customize the design of a loved one's headstone offer incredible variety. When it comes to encompassing a design of a marker that best embodies a loved one, the more choices in customization we feel, the better to represent the lives of those we remember.
How is it possible to create full-color photographs or breathtaking images on today's memorials? It is all thanks to the art and technology behind laser-engraved headstones.
What Is Laser Engraving or Laser Etching?
Laser engraving or laser etching is a process that vaporizes materials into fume to engrave permanent, deep marks. Regarding etching on granite or stone memorials, it removes the polished surface with a Co2 laser and creates a permanent etching on a headstone.
A laser machine that can carve sizeable, heavy stone is needed to engrave a granite monument or memorial. To etch a headstone, a laser engraver has an open architecture that allows heavy granite pieces of any size and shape to roll beneath the laser beam without using a specialized table.
Prep work before the engraving process involves customer input, such as questions about the loved one the headstone will memorialize, any physical or digital images they would like to be included, and significant dates. Thanks to the innovative laser etching technology, almost anything can be etched permanently into granite monuments, from names, dates, portraits, elaborate artwork, meaningful quotes, clip art, and song lyrics, for a small example.
Once communication and preparation between the customer and the monument dealer have been completed, the laser engraving process begins. Using a high-quality photograph or digital image that can be scanned or uploaded, the monument dealer can turn it into a high-contrast black-and-white picture or a full-color image using photo editing software. The photograph, once ready, is sent to the laser and engraved into a granite headstone the customer has chosen using a very tiny laser beam. The entire process is much like scanning a photo and printing it with an inkjet printer, but instead of using ink, the engraver uses a powerful laser.
The higher-quality image provided, the higher quality the laser can etch the photo into granite.
Benefits of Laser Engraving
Here are a few of the beautiful benefits of laser-engraved headstones:
- Only the highest-quality, fine-grained granite is used for laser etching. This ensures that the stone has the best contrast and grain required for a beautiful etching.
- Laser engraving is a technique that will outlast hand-carved details for decades without losing legibility.
- As long as the image or photograph given to the monument dealer is high quality, there is almost no limit as to what sort of imagery can be etched onto a headstone
- Many monument dealers will also provide pre-made templates and images which you can use to upload or customize a headstone from their site.
- Traditional hand-carved details have specific size requirements; otherwise, the text cannot be properly cut into the granite. With laser engraving, much more text can be fit onto a memorial.
- Along with portraits of your loved ones, customers can add pictures of pets, or other highly detailed background images can also be added.
When creating a lasting memorial for your loved one, we believe that the wide-open options that laser engraving allows us to offer are the superior choice. As we provide this service to those of you grieving, we want to offer you as many options as possible so that the memorial you choose perfectly represents your loved one. Should laser etching be something you are looking into for your loved one, please let us express our deepest sympathies to you in this time of grieving. Our monument experts and artists would be honored to work with you to capture a beautiful, heartfelt memorial image in stone for you and your family.