Ordering a headstone online is not only possible but also far easier than you would imagine thanks to our new sourcebook of ideas and the use of the internet for exchanging photographs and ideas. You can still collaborate with Fergus in making a unique headstone.
In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, many of you will be unable to travel to visit the workshop. It is still perfectly possible to choose a headstone without visiting. Here I lay out how the process might work.
An alternative to the traditional handshake is the Indian "Namaste" greeting. I wanted to share this with you and I hope you will try it and share it with others. It makes you feel really connected with others.
When people talk about commissioning a bespoke memorial, they search online for bespoke memorials and are offered a range of options by stonemasons. However, are they truly bespoke? Our memorials are completely bespoke, from start to finish and here we explain why.
Choosing beautiful words to put on a headstone is one of the most important stage of choosing a headstone. But what will be approved by the vicar? Here I share a list of epitaphs suggested by one of the dioceses themselves.
Our workshop is located in the village of Milton under Wychwood in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We are only just over an hours' drive from London, and there are some wonderful pubs to visit as well as many beautiful villages, should you decide to make a trip to the workshop part of an extended visit.
Whenever possible we install (fix) our headstones using the "Monolith" method, which fully complies with British Safety Standard BS8415 which must be met by most cemeteries. This method is clearly approved by the National Association of Memorial Masons.
We are often asked if we are NAMM registered. NAMM (The National Association of Memorial Masons) has a register of approved fixers called the RQMF, which we are included on. We also have full public liability insurance up to £5 million.
Last night Fergus attended a reception at the Burford Garden Company where the finalists for the West Oxfordshire Business Awards were announced and we were thrilled to learn we have been selected as one of the finalists! We are very proud of our team and our work.
We were delighted to be shortlisted for a West Oxfordshire Business Award 2019, in the category of Best Micro Business. We were visited by two members of the WOBA team and we were asked to share our business ethos and vision for the Workshop.
The image of a boat has been used on headstones for centuries by many civilizations. The boat lends itself well to carving, as it can be simplified and stylised. It is a romantic symbol, a symbol of a journey but also a symbol of safety and refuge.
The task of commissioning a headstone can be a painful process as it can be perceived as a final act of saying goodbye. This can bring up many emotions and perhaps a reluctance to face them. If you find yourself in such a place, perhaps the process outlined below can help you.
Last week Stoneletters was the proud winner of a Good Funeral Award for "Best Maker of Hand Carved Memorials in an Indigenous Material". The award is a real accolade and testament to all of Fergus's hard work and devotion to his clients.
Capturing in great detail, the carving of letter D in slate. This video gives you a feel for the fluidity of the chisel with the hand, and the accuracy and attention to detail that is required to carve letters by hand.
For anyone who has had a stillborn baby or has lost a child, I have compiled a selection of comforting poems and funeral readings. In time these may also provide inspiration or ideas for an epitaph or headstone quote.
This is a brief summary of the Oxfordshire Churchyard Regulations which apply to our clients. Clients are often worried about regulations, but vicars tend to be very helpful and encourage unique, hand carved headstones.
I am often asked what wording is allowed on a headstone which is to go in a churchyard. Unfortunately, there are often no hard and fast rules. Below I shall summarise the main guidelines and offer advice based on over ten years' experience.
Choosing a headstone or memorial for a child must be the hardest thing to do. I have collected together some beautiful epitaphs and quotes for children as well as some examples of headstones which I hope will provide some comfort and inspiration.
Gravestone installation is a very important part of my work; I prefer to install all of my gravestones myself using the Monolith fixing method wherever possible. Here I explain how we fix our headstones, and I describe the pros and cons of monolith and dowel (pin) fixings.
Lettering is only a small part of a gravestone design. Almost all of my headstones incorporate a small carving of a symbol or motif. Choosing a symbol is often difficult and may be inspired by something your loved one was passionate about or simply an image from nature. Here are some symbols from my headstones which I hope will inspire you.
Choosing a memorial quote or epitaph for a headstone can be very difficult. Here is a freshly updated list of tasteful epitaphs and quotes for headstones, many of which I have carved into headstones myself.
Have you ever seen a truly bespoke, hand carved headstone? These headstones are nothing like those seen in the catalogues of monumental masons. This selection of headstones is to give you an insight into our work.
Lettering in stone can look stunning in a garden setting. Examples of our work include slate obelisks and garden wall plaques. Hand carved lettering in stone can also be used for sundials, bird baths, benches and water features.
Portland Headstones to inspire you. Portland limestone is a natural British material which improves with weathering. These headstones give you an idea of the versatility of the stone, although the lettering needs to be large enough to read without the need to paint it, and in time as it weathers the letters need to be cut deep and large enough to remain legible. Carving letters along the edge is very effective.
People often ask me about cleaning gravestones, and the answer I usually give is not to do so unless absolutely necessary! If you are determined to clean a gravestone, I share some tips in this article.
Choosing the right headstone material is crucial and it is hard to know where to begin. Do you start with the inscription, or the stone? Here I suggest 8 questions you need to ask when considering what material to use.
A wonderful afternoon spent visiting Pigotts, Eric Gill's former home: a fascinating place steeped in history. I trained under Lida Kindersley, who was married to David Kindersley. He in turn trained under Eric Gill, so my work owes much to Eric Gill's tradition.
This winter I was asked to carve and build an obelisk sundial for Buscot Park to celebrate the diamond jubilee of HM The Queen. But this was no ordinary Egyptian copy. For a start it has 6 sides rather than 4 and its main function is to hold a vertical sundial.