How Granite Headstones are Made?

Quarrying the Granite for Headstones

The Granite Headstones you see in cemeteries are made from natural granite that was formed hundreds of millions of years ago from molten lava. After cooling, granite rock formations were formed throughout the world where many quarries are now established. At these quarries huge blocks of granite are extracted by means of drilling, blasting and sawing. The blocks are then sent to a factory where automated saws and polishers with the help of skilled workers cut and finish the stone for different applications such as building materials, home furnishings and granite headstones. When used as a grave memorial, skilled craftsman and artists utilize the benefits of modern technology to create a work of art that is worthy of memorializing a departed loved one.

Design and Lettering Process

The process of creating a granite headstone starts with a piece of granite that has already been cut to the specified size and with the appropriate finish. In most instances the surface to be engraved is polished. An artist lays on the surface of the granite headstone a stencil made of rubber with an adhesive backing in which the design and lettering has already been transferred to. The artists will now cut the design and lettering out with an artist's knife such as an X-Acto knife.

Today, many companies are now using efficient computer stencil cutting machines that allow for greater accuracy and higher volume output. When the design and lettering is cut out from the stencil, the artist will pull out the area of the design to be engraved thus exposing the surface of the granite headstone to be carved.

Carving Granite Headstones

Granite headstones are placed in a sandblasting room for the final carving process. A worker uses high air pressure and special sand forced through a nozzle at the tip of the hose which then carves out the design and lettering. The area of the granite headstone covered by the stencil is well protected. Sandblasting is very much like erosion only at a very high rate of speed and in a controlled environment. After sandblasting, the carved areas are colored in black to provide contrast so the lettering and design will stand out. The person sandblasting the granite headstone will now put the finishing touches and prepare it for delivery