Memorials & Celebration Stones
It isn't always the mourning who commission us to carve gravestones. About one-third of our clients have been healthily and happily alive. Sometimes it's a couple looking to their tombstone to represent a well -spent life together rather than simply to mark their passing. Sometimes it's a gift to bestow upon their parents. And sometimes, what begins as a plan to create a custom gravestone turns into a celebration stone of an entirely different nature.
During the listening and sharing phase of a design consultation with an avid watch and art collector, we uncovered that 2009 would mark several significant milestones, including his golden wedding anniversary. We changed course and decided to create a Celebration Stone instead to celebrate the milestones and share his secret to a happy and successful life.
Incorporating lines from his favorite song and encoding his secret in jumble form into the text, we carved a 16 x 17 inch slate tablet using a combination of incised and relief letters. The slate was then set into a 12-foot tall organically shaped stone pillar. The Celebration Stone was unveiled during his anniversary garden party and now sits monument -like in his garden among his private collection of art sculptures.
In a garden of a different nature, The Cooks' Garden at Historic Deerfield in Massachusetts, a "sacred stone bowl" was installed and dedicated in 2009 in memory of Margaret Quinn Orloske. A member of the museum who enjoyed open hearth cooking and gardening, Margaret, with thousands of others, died on September 11, 2001.
Looking much like a rustic bird bath, this hand-carved slate bowl has a smooth 6-inch wide flat rim carved with the names and illustrations of a cook's favorite herbs spaced in a perfect circle. Along the innermost edge, in carefully carved letters forming yet another complete circle, are her name, birth and death dates, and the words of A. Austin, "The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature."