Aurisina is a light beige Italian limestone, which looks similar to Portland but is much harder and weathers more slowly. Here are some beautiful examples of bespoke Aurisina headstones.
Below are ten beautiful headstones made from Aurisina limestone. Otherwise known as white Nabresina, Aurisina is a sister of the much favoured Nabresina (favoured by monumental mason). It comes from Italy and is the only imported headstone material we routinely use. We used to use Hopton Wood limestone from the UK, but this is sadly no longer available, and Aurisina is a very good alternative.
While Nabresina is white with grey flecks, Aurisina is white with light brown flecks which lend it a slight softness and warmth which we much prefer.
Aurisina is an excellent alternative to Portland when a client wants a headstone which will weather less quickly and take finer, more detailed inscriptions and carvings. This is because this headstone material is denser and harder than Portland, and furthermore is easier to clean.
Aurisina will mellow with time, and in my opinion improves with age. It doesn’t change colour when wet like Portland, so to make the lettering easier to read we tend to paint the letters with a light wash of paint which matches the brown specks, this makes it look natural as if unpainted.
The headstones above demonstrate the complexity of design that Aurisina allows, and when used liberally, gold leaf can enhance an inscription. We also have the option to carve lettering along the edge of the headstone, something that we cannot do with slate because of risk of lamination.
A headstone carving can greatly enhance the design, above are two examples of very different carvings, both in sunken relief.
Fergus created Stoneletters Studio in 2003, after training at the Kindersley Workshop. He is a member of the prestigious Master Carver's Association.