494 St. Vincent’s Rd. Nudgee Qld 4014

Inscriptions for 
Headstones and Memorials

With so many kinds of plaques and inscriptions available, it can be difficult to decide on the perfect method for your loved one’s memorial.

The most sentimental and personal component is undoubtedly the inscription when it comes to gravestones and memorials.  The inscription is the wording and lettering found on the headstone, a memorial plaque, or adorning other parts of the monument.

It can include special phrases, prayers, names the deceased was known by, significant quotes and more.   The stonemason etches special symbols, motifs and even photographs into the monument or plaques to create a truly beautiful and personalised tribute.

Today we begin a series highlighting the different options you can select from as we take a look at a truly beautiful kind of embellishment – the natural inscription.

What is a Natural Inscription?

A natural inscription uses a sandblasting technique to meticulously carve the design into the polished surface of the granite.  The stonemason removes the polished surface and the stone’s natural colour is exposed. This reveals the beautiful contrasting colour and texture of the design.

This inscription is a great choice because the natural etching requires no maintenance.  No paint or artificial colour is applied, so it holds up well in all kinds of weather conditions and will last for many generations.

There are three types of raised natural inscriptions:

1. Sandblasted Incised Lettering

This is where the lettering or design is sandblasted from the polished surface. This reveals the natural stone beneath each letter.  The lighter portion that is revealed is the wording and motif design.

Sandblasted Natural Inscription

2. Raised Natural Inscription

A raised natural inscription is the reverse of sandblasted lettering. This type of natural inscription is sometimes referred to as a “relief” inscription or an “embossed” inscription.

With a raised or relief natural inscription, an area (usually a box or rectangle) is sandblasted from the surface to reveal the unpolished stone below.  The letters or motifs remain, leaving a relief effect to display the lettering or chosen phrasing.

Raised Natural Inscription

3. Combination Raised Natural Inscription and Sandblasted Lettering

A combination of #1 and #2 above – using both sandblasting techniques to craft a unique and creative design. 

Combination Relief Sandblasted Natural Inscription
Combination Raised Sandblasted Natural Inscription

What Happens When Granite is Wet?

Due to the organic nature of the exposed natural granite in a raised inscription, it is important to note that its appearance can be uniquely affected by light and weather conditions.

When rain or water wets a natural inscription, it can take on an appearance similar to the polished surface of the memorial. The contrast between the two surfaces is thus reduced.  The inscription temporarily becomes less prominent but no less beautiful.

Here is a short video to illustrate the effect that moisture has on the appearance of a raised natural inscription:

Wet Natural Inscriptions

The video above effectively demonstrates the progression of the appearance of a raised natural inscription from a dry state to a wet state and then back to dry again.

This change of appearance should be considered when selecting the design of your memorial or gravestone (headstone).

With so many years of experience as Brisbane stonemasons, the staff at T.Wrafter & Sons can assist you in designing your monument and choosing the appropriate techniques to use to achieve the result you desire.   

Be sure to have a look at our memorial plaques and inscriptions page for many more examples of the different types of inscriptions available on lawn plaques and bronze plaques.

We invite you to give us a call today to set up your consultation with one of our expert team members.

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