This memorial was carved for a Concord historian and rare book scholar who loved 18th-century gravestone iconography. The family allowed me to interpret traditional motifs rather than copy a specific design, but as she was a Mayflower descendant it was important that a Tudor rose be figured prominently in the tympanum ornament.
Location: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, MA
The beauty of lettercarving by hand is arguably best expressed with gilded letters on black slate. This address sign was installed in an area where easy legibility was of the utmost concern, so the striking contrast of gold on black won the day.
I usually recommend slate for most of my projects, but in this unique circumstance the clients were ardent stone collectors and they wanted their dog's memorial in this specific boulder. You never know what sort of carving experience client-supplied stones will give you until you actually start carving. This stone was quite a bit denser than the slate I'm used to, but I was glad to discover that with a little extra persuasion it moved out of the way nicely.
Lux Et Veritas
In 2017 I was honored to be invited to the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University as a Visiting Artisan. I brought along a carving demonstration and for a suitable text I reached no farther than the school's Latin motto. This picture shows the sequence relevant to all of my inscriptions: from brushwork on paper to a traced master layout to letters painted on the stone awaiting the mallet and chisel.