It’s been a few months since I engraved my dog’s memorial, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was an emotional roller coaster.
On one hand, I was excited to be engraving a beautiful granite memorial to honour my dog’s memories, yet, I was very nervous about the possibility of screwing it up.
The memorial, called the Rustic Pet Memorial which is now sold on this website, isn’t cheap.
An engraving is literally written in stone and screwing it up would mean I’d be out of a few hundred dollars.
Luckily, I had already accumulated a lot of experience engraving thousands of headstones in the cemeteries. (You can learn more about why that is HERE.)
Engraving my own dog’s memorial was nerve-wracking, but it turned out beautiful and better than I had imagined.
You can watch the entire process in this short 3-min video:
As you can see in the video, the process is quite simple and comes down to a 3-step process.
STEP #1: Prepare the image.
This isn’t a part of the video, but before an engraving can be done, the photograph MUST be professionally edited so it looks good on the granite stone.
This involves transforming the photograph into a black and white image, adding highlights and creating shadows so that the pets stand out from the natural stone.
It is a tedious process that takes several hours to complete but necessary to get the best quality engraving possible.
STEP #2: Engrave the memorial.
The actual engraving is done with a specialty machine designed to engrave granite. This is the same machine that is used to engrave headstones for humans in cemeteries.
Most other engraving companies uses laser. I’m not a fan. Laser is great for quickly engraving a variety of materials, like wood, ceramic, paper, plastic, etc. However, on granite, it only burns the very stop layer of the stone which results in very shallow engraving.
My machine is different, it uses the “Diamond Impact” method, which means it physically hits the granite with a diamond needle.
It results in a deeper and brighter engraving. The drawback, is it takes a while. It took 1 hour 31 minutes to engrave this memorial.
STEP #3: Highlight the engraving.
Although you can clearly see the engraving without highlighting paint added, the problem is when natural stone gets wet from rain, it absorbs the moisture and the stone becomes darker which makes it very difficult to read.
If one plans on keeping the memorial indoors where it will remain dry, then this isn’t necessary.
However, I plan on keeping my dog’s memorial outdoors in a garden dedicated to my dogs. That’s why a little bit of highlighting is beneficial as it keeps the engraving readable if the stone ever gets wet.
That’s pretty much it!