How to commission a memorial or an inscription with us

27th February 2024

Commissioning a memorial

Gray’s Stone Carving Studio offers a personalised and flexible approach to commissioning memorials. Beginning with an initial consultation, they discuss the deceased’s life, design preferences, and ideas with the client. The studio then develops a unique design, allowing for client input and adjustments. Upon approval, materials are selected, and the memorial creation process begins. Clients may be as involved as they wish, even participating in the carving process or attending the installation. Throughout the entire process, from design to finalisation, Gray’s Stone Carving Studio prioritises clear communication, quality craftsmanship, and client satisfaction, ensuring a meaningful and fitting tribute for the deceased.

INITIAL CONSULTATION

At Gray’s Stone Carving Studio, our typical procedure for commissioning a memorial begins when individuals reach out to us via phone call or email. We then invite them to visit our workshop, or, if needed, we can travel to their location, for a consultation/chat. During this meeting we talk about the life and legacy of the person being memorialised, as well as any ideas or preferences the family or individual may have regarding the inscription and overall design of the memorial. This conversation lays the groundwork for creating a truly unique and meaningful tribute.

We understand that not everyone has a clear vision for the memorial, and that’s perfectly normal. In these cases, we take the time to learn about the person who passed away, their interests, passions, and the unique qualities that made them special. By having an open and empathetic conversation with our clients, we can offer suggestions and guidance based on our experience, helping to create a memorial that truly reflects the individual’s life and spirit.

Design Development

After our initial conversation, we take some time to reflect on the information we’ve gathered and brainstorm ideas that might resonate with the client. This could include symbols, carvings, or other elements that represent the person’s life, interests, or personality. We also consider the type of lettering, taking into account factors such as the individual’s age, profession, or personal style. By creating a quick mock-up, we provide our clients with a visual representation of our concepts, which helps ensure that we’re on the right track and allows for any necessary adjustments or refinements. This collaborative process ensures that the final memorial is a heartfelt and fitting tribute to the person it honours.

Approval and Material Selection

After presenting the client with the initial sketch and receiving their feedback, we provide them with a price estimate for the memorial. Once the client approves the concept and pays the required deposit, we begin work on a detailed, hand-drawn design. Upon approval, we send the design, along with the necessary application form, to the parish church or incumbent for their review. Once the design is approved by all parties, we order the materials needed. It’s important to note that some materials may take up to six weeks to arrive. Once the materials are in hand, we begin working the memorial, bringing the approved design to life.

Carving and Installation

After completing the masonry, setting out the lettering and design, we send a photo of the memorial to the client for final approval. Next, we proceed with the detailed work, including letter cutting, carving, and any necessary painting or gilding. When all of these elements are finished, we send a photograph of the completed memorial to the client. Finally, we deliver and install the memorial. Throughout this entire process, we strive to ensure clear communication, quality craftsmanship, and client satisfaction.

Summary

One of the unique aspects of our memorial commissioning process is our flexibility in client involvement. We recognise that every client has different needs and preferences, so we strive to accommodate them as best as we can.  Some clients may choose to entrust the entire design process to us, while others may wish to be more hands-on. For those who desire a more active role, we welcome their input, including incorporating their own drawings into the design or even teaching them to carve so they can contribute to the creation of the memorial itself. We also invite clients to be present during the installation if they wish, as we understand the significance of this moment. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that each client feels comfortable and supported throughout the entire process, regardless of their level of involvement.

FOOTNOTE

At some point, we will write about what to look for, and what questions to ask when looking for, designing, commissioning, or buying a memorial.

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