Creating Garden Stones
Learn how Your Garden Stone is Created
Engraved garden stones aren’t just your words on a stone. To create a true work of art, we take extraordinary measures to assure quality throughout. Each stone is deeply engraved so that it is sure to be treasured a lifetime in your garden, or your home.
Smaller stones, such as pocket stones have to feel good in the hand. Larger stones such as memorial stones have to have their own beauty, and the right surface for a message of love or hope.
We start by selecting a garden stone specifically for your order. We look for an attractive, well shaped stone, with enough surface space to engrave your message.
Each stone is hand cleaned to remove all dust and debris. Sometimes a simple dusting and air brushing is sufficient, but usually a hand scrubbing is done on each stone before engraving.
A custom stencil is then created for every engraved stone your order. This is where we create your layout, combining your chosen words, fonts, and then size all of this to the size and shape of your stone. Because we engrave stones to order, we can accommodate corporate logos, and custom images and fonts on our engraved stones.
Stencil creation is a craft of its' own. The layout and design are key to the quality of your finished stone. The size of each individual stone has to be matched to the size of the stencil. A stone’s curvature for example can make the image or letters distorted. If stencils are too tiny, especially on smaller stones such as pocket rocks, fragile letters (i.e. a, d, e, o, p) can get lost in the sandblasting.
A glue is brushed onto each stone, requiring a few minutes to become tacky. The stencil is then “set” on the stone for engraving. Great care is taken to assure the stencil is centered and straight. We get just one chance to get this right! At this point, your stencil appears almost like a solid sheet on your stone, with the outline of your image.
Once the stencil is placed, we now must carefully remove the letters and images which will be engraved. This exposes the stone for sandblasting.
The stencil edges are taped to prevent sandblasting from leaving an indentation on the edge of the stencil. Any exposed stone not covered by the stencil must be covered. The stone is then hand pounded with a special mallot to assure good adhesion between the stencil and the stone. A roller is used as one last method to assure fine points are sealed. Stencils have to withstand up to 300 mph of sandblasting, and even a single grain of sand getting under the stencil can ruin the stone.
Your garden stone is now sandblasted by hand. Experience teaches how to sandblast a wide variety of rocks, stones and designs. A deep cut gives greater detail, though it takes more time and costs more to create. Each stones is unique, and our engravers have learned how much they can get from each stone.
Once engraved, any excess sand needs to be removed from the stone. A special paint filler is then applied to the stone while the stencil is still in place. Care has to be taken to be sure the stencil was not stretched during engraving, or the paint may not leave nice clean lines. Smeared paint means we start the process over! The stone is inspected at all angles to assure paint coverage of all inside crevasses, designs and letters.
We let the stone dry, and then the tape and stencil are removed. The stone must soak to loosen the stencil filler, and then is hand scrubbed to loosen the glues. Finally, the stones and rocks are scrubbed in hot soapy water to remove all remaining debris, then rinsed to remove soap film.
The rock is dried, given a final inspection, and finally packed for delivery.
Buy your personalized garden stepping stones and garden stones with confidence. We know you won't be disappointed!