GRAVE MARKERS Memorial Mosaics Memorial Mosaic Grave Markers are beautiful and enduring pictures built of stone, custom created to celebrate and honor the life of your loved one. These stone mosaics typically serve in place of a traditional grave marker, often covering the whole burial site. Memorial Mosaic Grave Markers offer you an amazing opportunity to tell a story about your loved one's life, passions, and legacy. The image created, the colors chosen, the stones used can all connect to their life and your lasting memories.
Creating a Memorial Mosaic Grave Marker is a three part process: Design, Production, and Installation.
DESIGN This is the most important and collaborative part of the process. This is the time where you and the artist become acquainted, he learns about your loved one and, together, you explore visual themes to celebrate that life. This process takes place in many ways: in person, over the phone and on the internet with e-mail and Skype. The design emerges over time, as the artist learns more about your beloved and you respond to his sketches. People often find this to be a very healing and celebratory process. The artist will be relying on you to provide stories, insights, pictures and details that will help to create a truly moving and appropriate memorial.
INSPIRATION There s no end to possible sources of inspiration for your beloved s memorial. Designs can be very abstract, like shapes that suggest the mountains, the sea, or a quilt pattern. Designs can also be more representational, like human or animal figures or a precise rendering of a city skyline. Ideas can come from anywhere: your beloved's favorite place, a piece of artwork he/she made, his/her profession or hobbies and perhaps even his/her own image.
INSCRIPTIONS Early in the design process, we will discuss what inscriptions are appropriate for the memorial. Inscriptions may be placed on a separate panel within the piece or integrated into the design. Inscriptions can include any desired text, such as dates, prayers, or quotes. Clarifying the inscription early in the design process has a significant impact on how the design is developed and influences the production time and cost of the memorial.
LOCATION It's important that we have a good understanding of where the memorial mosaic grave marker will be situated. This helps to generate a design that suits the space, and to plan for a successful installation. Providing contact information for the cemetery's caretaker is crucial. We will make direct contact with the caretaker, explain the process, and research the cemetery rules regarding memorials.
DELIVERY DATE In our first discussions, we will talk about a delivery date. Knowing that you have a special event planned allows us to make sure the memorial is ready for you.
MATERIALS The main material for our memorial markers is stone. The artist uses a combination of stone with natural finishes- the rough textures of quarried or field stone, the smooth shapes of beach pebbles or river rock- as well as the honed and polished finishes of slab stones, like the granites and marbles used for countertops. The artist often collects stone scraps from local countertop companies, happy to be able to reuse a waste material. By juxtaposing different colors and textures, he is able to create images and moods to tell a story. The materials we choose also help to connect and deepen the story. Our design may include stones from a part of the world that was important to the person, or perhaps even actual stones collected during travels. Other durable materials, like cast or slab glass, weatherproof tiles and metal may find their way into certain designs.
PRODUCTION The memorial is built in the artist's workshop in Asheville, North Carolina. He uses a variety of stone working techniques to create the shapes and finishes required to realize a design. Throughout the production process we will share images with you so that you can see the design emerging. The artist will build a sandbox that s the same size as the installation site. As he cuts and finishes the stones, he will place them in the sandbox, making sure he has the desired fits between the stones. By doing this, he ensures that the design and image are coming together as planned and that we will have a smooth installation. Once the piece is completed, we package it for shipping.
INSTALLATION Ideally, the installation process is a simply a matter of assembling the pieces to create the image. The first step is to establish a boundary around the piece, typically stone edging, similar to curbstones. These pieces are stood up in the ground and anchored with concrete. The edging establishes the boundary and elevates the mosaic off the ground a few inches. This strengthens the visual impact and makes it easier for the cemetery caretakers to mow and otherwise maintain the area around the marker. A gentle slope to the overall piece helps to prevent rainwater from pooling on the surface. After the boundary is set, the artist will place the pieces of the design. He prefers to use a setting bed of gravel and to lay the stone pieces dry, without mortar or concrete. This provides structural as well as aesthetic benefits. The loose pieces allow for the daily expansion and contraction that stone goes through as temperatures rise and fall and it is exposed to sunlight and shade. A dry-laid mosaic also has dark joint lines between the pieces, which add visual impact and are more attractive and natural looking than a line of grout. Stone has been used for millennia to commemorate and honor those who have passed. Memorial Mosaic Grave Markers are a new interpretation in a tradition as ancient as culture itself. The memorial we will create for your loved one will be beautiful, will tell an amazing story, and will serve as an enduring monument to their life and your love. We would be honored to work with you to create a Memorial Mosaic Grave Marker to tell the story and celebrate the life of your beloved.