Posts Tagged ‘porcelain portraits’

Laser Etched Monument Maintenance

Posted: June 10, 2016 in Granite, Headstone Maintenence, Help, How To, Laser Etching, Memorial Monument, Memorial Monument Inforamtion, MIke's Laser Etching, Monument Care, Online Purchasing, Sartin Memorials, Traditional Monument, Uncategorized
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Polish 2 front and back

As with anything which is sitting out in the weather, it is important to remember to maintain your Laser Etched Memorial Monument. This is an extremely easy thing to do and we recommend that you complete maintenance at least once or twice a year.  It is a very fast and easy process and will only require the following:

-A bottle of Windex

-Several soft cloths (we recommend white washcloths)

-A tube of WHITE Oil-Based Block Printing Ink (*See Below For Ordering Details)

-A razor blade if necessary

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Here at Mike’s Laser Etching, we use Speedball Oil-Based Block Printing Ink as our highlight. It is very important that you be sure that you purchase pure white ink. If you choose to purchase the Speedball brand, the color number you should order is 3553. You can order a tube of Speedball by clicking on the below link:

https://sartinmemorialsblog.com/2014/06/18/order-your-laser-etching-highlight-online/

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The first step to the 6-12 month maintenance process is to clean the monument with Windex. Liberally spray the Windex over the entire polished area of your monument. Wipe clean using circular motions and don’t be afraid to apply pressure if necessary to clear the polished area of all dirt and debris. If you find that there is tree sap or something else which is not coming off of the monument, carefully use the razor blade to scrape of the substance. Although you do need to be careful not to cut yourself, the razor blade, if used correctly, will not damage the granite.

Once you are sure the monument is free of dirt and grass, it is time to refresh your highlight. First, place several small dots of the ink on the area of the laser etching. You will notice that a little goes a long way when it comes to the highlight. For a 24″ x 12″ Flush Marker with a full laser etched scene, it will take no more than a nickel size dot of ink to cover the full laser etching.

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Once you have the ink on the stone, use your cloth to begin rubbing the highlight into the etched areas in small circular motions. You will immediately see a difference in the brightness of your laser etching. Once all of the laser etchings have been covered, use the cloth to wipe the excess ink off.  After you have removed all of the excess, throw away the cloth. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WASH THE INK OUT OF THE WASHCLOTHS.

So long as you follow these instructions and consistently maintain your monument, you will be able to enjoy the laser etched monument for years and years to come. Generations through the years will be able to appreciate the beautiful and unique monument you designed for your loved one(s) and that is our goal here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials.

If you are interested in learning more about our custom laser etched monuments and tiles, call us today at 877-836-0332 or email our sales team at sara@mikeslaseretching.com.

 

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Aren’t Porcelain Portraits for Headstones?

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Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials has been advertising our holiday discount on Porcelain Portraits. While we have offered our Porcelain Portraits for quite a while now, this is the first big holiday sale we have had on our Porcelains. Because of our increased focus on the Porcelain Portraits, we have began to receive may messages and phone calls from clients regarding the Porcelain Portraits and where they can be used.

Originally, Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials began to offer our own Porcelain Portrait to our monument clients. Although we had offered them previously, most of our clients were hesitant to order a Porcelain Portrait for their monument because of the delay caused when ordering them from the provider in Europe. Rather than the one to two week turn around that we currently offer, it would take months to finally receive the Porcelain Portrait. During this delay, the monument would be completed and ready for installation or shipment, but was sitting in our shop awaiting the arrival of the Porcelain. So, while clients thought the Porcelains were beautiful, they typically would choose not to order one, thus avoiding the delay.

After the frustration of waiting several months for a shipment of Porcelain Portraits to arrive, the owner of Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials decided to look into creating them in house. Once we were able to ensure that we could offer high quality Porcelain Portraits to our clients, we purchased all the necessary equipment and supplies and had each of our employees trained in how to make them. We offered the Porcelains to not only our current and new clients, but also to clients who had ordered monuments in the past, as they could be added to monuments which were already installed in the cemeteries.

Several months after we began creating the Porcelain Portraits, we realized that, just like the laser etched tiles we have offered for years, the porcelain would make a great keepsake to display in the home or office. Unlike the laser etched tiles, the porcelains could be created in color rather than black and white. Although the black and white laser etched tiles are beautiful, some people just prefer to have their favorite images displayed in color. The porcelains allow our clients to choose between black and white or color, as both are possible with the Porcelain Portraits. While the most popular shapes seem to be the ovals and the rectangles, the heart, square and circle porcelains are equally as beautiful.

The Porcelain Portraits can be easily displayed on a plate stand in the places that you would normally display pictures in a picture frame. One of the most beautiful displays I have seen is from a client who ordered three porcelains, using images from her wedding, which she then displayed in a three tier plate stand. An image of this display is below:

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Of course, rather than being hung on the wall, they can be displayed on a table or shelf. Here are a few examples of the porcelains in plate stands.

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Porcelain Portraits make the perfect gifts for those hard to buy for friends and family. Anyone will love a portrait keepsake which will never fade, even if it’s placed on a shelf which is always in the bright sunlight! Visit our website using the link below to learn about our “Cyber Monday” discount which runs until Decemeber 13, 2013! We have porcelains priced as low as $40! Contact us today to order your porcelain to give to every member of your family for Christmas!

http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/ceramic_portraits.html

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You can also order by:

Printing the below order form and faxing it to us at 302-838-4231

or

mailing it to us at PO Box 184 St. George’s, De 19733

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Question of the Week: What Color Granite Should I Choose For My Monument?

Posted: August 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
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What Color Granite Should I Choose For My Monument??

If you have researched granite monuments at all online, you will know by now that there is a huge variety of granite colors. It is important to remember that granite is a product of nature. It is not possible to guarantee that all color markings, nor that every characteristic of the pieces will be uniformly present in every piece of granite, even of similar type and variety. Granite is available in colors ranging from the whitest white to the blackest black, and every color in between. To see some of the most commonly ordered monument colors, visit our website at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/granite_colors.html.

One of the most important things to ask yourself when deciding upon which color granite you should order your monument in is: Do I want sandblast or laser etch my design?

The reason this is the most important thing to consider is because not every color can be laser etched and not every design can be sandblasted. If you do not know the difference between sandblasting and laser etching, please refer to our previous blog here: https://mikeslaseretchingsartinmemorials.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/question-of-the-week-what-is-the-difference-between-laser-etching-sandblasting/.

Basically, if you want a design that is extremely detailed, such as a picture of a person or an object, you would need to go with a color of granite which can be laser etched. For images with the most detail, such as a picture of a person, the darkest black granite would need to be used. Therefore, you would need to go with Jet Black or India Black. These two colors of granite have the least amount of color variations throughout the stone, as they are typically one uniform color: the darkest black. 

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When you begin to get into lighter black granite, such as Midnight Black and Frosty Black, the color variations begin to become more frequent and much larger, as you can see from the images below. If an image of a person’s face were to be etched upon a piece of Midnight or Frosty Black granite, these color variations would cause the image to start becoming blurry. Instead of the sharp, clear image you see in the Jet and India Black, it is difficult to make out the small details on these colors of black granite. Although not recommended, it is possible to etch detailed images on Midnight and Frosty Black granite. Prior to doing so, it is important that our clients understand that the image may not be as clear as it would on the Jet or India Black. Images which are not extremely detailed, such as a picture of a nature scene or of a car can be etched on the lighter black granite and will turn out beautifully.

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When you start to get into the colored granite, such as the Blue Pearl and the Carnation Pink, whether or not a design can be etched varies. It not only depends upon the type of image, but also upon the color of the granite. 

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A monument which is of a darker color, such as a Forest Green, can often still be used to etch some of the lesser detailed images. Something along the lines of a landscape can be etched on these darker colors. However, etching a picture of a person is never recommended when it comes to granite which is any color other than the darker blacks.

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The lighter the color of the granite becomes the less likely a laser etched image will work. Once you get to the light grays, pinks and white, we will always recommend that the design be sandblasted only. This even applies to lettering, which can typically still be etched on the lighter reds, blues and greens, as a laser etched lettering on the lightest colors is not going to be visible at all from a distance.

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If you would like a monument in a color which cannot be laser etched, but you would still like to include a picture in the design, there is a way for you to get the best of both worlds! We can include either a laser etched Marble Portrait, or a colored Porcelain Portrait in the design. A laser etched Marble Portrait will be done in black and white and the Porcelain Portrait can be done in either color or black and white. There are a variety of shapes and sizes available in both the Marble and the Porcelain Portraits. We have designed monuments where a client has included a large Marble Portrait which covered the entire back of a white granite monument in order to add a photo collage, while still being able to choose the white granite she loved so much!

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To learn more about our Laser Etched Marble Portraits, click here: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/laser_etched_marble.html

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To learn more about our Porcelain Portraits, click here: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/ceramic_portraits.html

If You Live In Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, Come Watch Us Design Your Monument!

Posted: August 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Did you know that in addition to online sales, Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials also has local offices? We have a total of five display locations throughout Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania!

We understand that some people would be interested in coming to see their stone in person and watching as we create the design which is to be added to the monument. It is because of this that we have added four display locations in addition to our main office in St. George’s, Delaware. 

Our displays are located in:

MIDDLETOWN, DE: 4843 Summit Bridge Road, Middletown, DE on Rt 301 in front of Lan-Chester Sheds & next to Mr. Mulch. A convenient location for Southern Delaware’s Residents, this 33 monuments display offers a small sample of our products at our additional Delaware Headstone Sales lot.

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ELKTON, MD: 792 West Pulaski Hwy in Elkton, MD next to the Rt. 40 Flea Market. Our Elkton location is a convenient place for Maryland Residence looking for a Maryland Monument Dealer. This location offers a display of over 100 monuments and an office to meet with our sales staff.

NEW HOURS: Monday – Friday 10 am to 6pm and Saturday & Sunday 9am to 3pm. Evening & weekend appointments are welcome! Please call Sarah at 302-419-0065 or email sarah@sartinmemorials.com to set up an appointment for this location.

View Sartin Memorials of Elkton’s Google Place Page at the following URL:http://maps.google.com/maps/placehl=en&georestrict=input_srcid:8b4b44082cc681b3

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CHESTERTOWN, MD: at the corner of MD 213 and Fey Rd. in Kingstown, MD. This location offers a display of over 50 monuments. Please call Sarah at 302-419-0065 or email sarah@sartinmemorials.com to set up an appointment for this location. 

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AVONDALE, PA: on the corner of Rt.41 and Ellicott Rd. This location offers a display of over 100 monuments and an office to meet with our sales staff. Please call Mike D. at 610-268-2358 or email pasales@sartinmemorials.com to set up an appointment for this location.

View Sartin Memorials of Avondale’s Google Place Page at the following URL:http://maps.google.com/maps/placeq=cemetery+memorials&hl=en&cid=16584215520856867338

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MAIN OFFICE IN ST. GEORGE’S, DE: at 4376 Kirkwood Saint Georges Rd in Bear, DE , next door to Saint Georges Cemetery. This is where the designing, laser etching, and sandblasting happens! Our largest display of cemetery memorial sales in DE is located in Saint Georges, showcasing over 400 headstones in over 15 different granite varieties. Although this location is staffed 6 days a week, to ensure a member of our staff will be available to assist you, please call Mike at 877-603-8484 or email us anytime at mikeslaser@comcast.net to set up an appointment. View satellite imagery of this location by visiting the following URL: http://www.wikimapia.org/10301526/Tyson-F-Sartin-Inc-and-Sartin-Memorials

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If none of these locations are near enough for you to visit, don’t be discouraged! We work with clients from all over the United States, including as far away as Alaska & Hawaii!

To learn about ordering and designing your monument online, read our blog at https://mikeslaseretchingsartinmemorials.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/order-design-your-monument-online/

Prior to any designs being sandblasted or laser etched onto a monument, the front and back of a monument is typically polished. There are some exceptions to this, such as when the back of a monument is rock pitched (not smooth). The sides of the monuments may or may not be polished, depending on the desired effect. However, any area on which a design or lettering is to be placed must first be polished. Polishing the granite creates a dark and shiny effect. The areas which are not polished look much lighter and dull when compared to the polished areas. The granite being polished allows for a much higher contrast once designs and lettering are sandblasted and/or laser etched into the surface.

What is sandblasting?

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Sandblasting is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of fine sand against the surface of the granite under high pressure. This process removes the polished layer of the granite to reveal the unpolished granite underneath. When sandblasting, the lettering and designs are first all blasted to the same depth by a machine. In order to sandblast a monument, it must first be designed by a graphic artist. The artist will use vector software such as Monucad to create a file containing the lettering and designs that will be sandblasted onto the headstone. Only simple lettering and designs, often referred to as Line Art, can be sandblasted, as it is not possible to create small details using this method. Photos cannot be sandblasted.

In order to get the design and lettering needed, they are first cut into a rubber “mat”. This process can be done by hand or by machine. Here at Mike’s Laser Etching, we currently use our Vytek LSTAR Laser to cut the mats in a step we call Vector Cutting. The design and lettering must then be handpicked from the back of the stencil so the sand can cut it once it is in the sandblaster.  The headstone is placed on the workbench and stencil filler is applied to the front surface. The mat is then placed on the front of the headstone and is held in place by the stencil filler. The monument is then placed into the sandblasting cabinet, which will then propel the sand against all surfaces which are exposed and not covered by the mat.

Once all the designs and lettering are at the same depth, the monument is removed from the cabinet. At this point, a specialist hand shapes using abrasive air to create a smoother look to the lettering and to add additional detail which the machine is not capable of. The remainder of the stencil is then removed and the stone is cleaned to reveal the finished headstone. If an even higher level of contrast is desired, color can be added to the deepest areas of the designs and lettering.

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What color granite can be sandblasted?

Any color of granite can be sandblasted. However, when sandblasting an extremely light color of granite, such as white pearl, it is necessary to add color in order to ensure the design and lettering are visible. This is because the polished and unpolished surfaces of such light color granite are so similar that additional contrast is needed.

What is laser etching?

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The laser etching process removes the polished surface of the granite using a high powered laser to show the unpolished granite beneath in varying depths to create the image. You can think of the laser etching machine as a big printer, since the majority of the work is done on a computer and then sent to the laser for “printing”.  In order to produce a granite etching, it must first be designed by a graphic artist. The artist will use photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop to create a BMP file containing the lettering, designs, & photos that are to be laser etched on the monument. Designs and photos must be carefully enhanced by the graphic artist so fine details such as the outline of a nose or teeth are visible in the granite engraving or marble etching.

The white and gray areas of the design are where the laser etches and the black areas are where no etching occurs and the black granite remains. This is why when a photo of someone with black or brown hair is etched a lighter background or soft glow outline around them is required to show where their hair starts and the background begins. The rest of the process involves the laser only. This process makes permanent photos on headstones possible.

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What colors can be laser etched?

Darker colors of granite are the best colors to laser etch because the darker colors create a better contrast between the gravestone and the image and bring out the most detail in pictures. Essentially, laser etching is likened to creating a grey-scale image that is emblazoned on the surface of the headstone. Grey-scale images work best against a dark background. With lighter shades of granite (such as beige), the colors barely bring out enough detail to discern the image from the granite. While lighter color granites do polish to a slightly darker tone, it does not bring out the breadth of detail that darker granites (such as black) do. Grey colored granite can be etched if it has a nice, even polished finish on the surface of the gravestone, but it also depends upon the type of etching that needs to be done.

Sometimes people choose to etch symbols and grave details into their gravestone markers, which is perfectly fine. However, most people will choose to etch very beautiful digital pictures of their loved ones or even photographs of hobbies or activities they enjoyed doing while alive. For example, if you’re loved one enjoyed fishing, an appropriate laser etch could include a photograph of your loved one fishing or a scenic image of their favorite fishing spot.

Laser etching adds a beautiful finish to the gravestone and a unique twist on the traditional concept of memorial designs. By selecting laser etching, you’re creating a distinct, creative headstone for your loved one’s legacy.

What options do I have if I want light colored granite but would still like a picture of my loved one included in the design?

Do not be discouraged! It is extremely common for our clients to request that a picture be added to a light colored monument. We have two options for doing so, and both are beautiful.

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The first option is to add a porcelain portrait to the design. Our Porcelain Portraits are created using the highest quality of 100% Italian Porcelain. We can use nearly any picture you would like, so long as the quality is good enough. The image can be done in color or in black and white and we can even edit out a background or a random hand or object that has appeared in the image.  When ordering a Porcelain Portrait with a monument, we will inlay the porcelain into the monument so that it sits flush with the granite. The Porcelain Portraits have a lifetime guarantee and are guaranteed to not fade or crack when exposed to the elements for hundreds of years.

For more information on our Porcelain Portraits, visit our website at:  http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/ceramic_portraits.html

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The other option for including an image on a light colored monument would be to add a Laser Etched Marble Portrait. These portraits are Laser Etched onto high quality marble and can also be inlaid into the monument in order to lay flush with the granite. Again, we can edit the image if you would like the background or an object removed. However, just like a laser etched monument, the final product would be a black and white image. If you would prefer the black and white, the Laser Etched Portraits are a perfect option for you and they are also guaranteed not to fade or crack!

For more information on our Laser Etched Portraits, visit our website at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/laser_etched_marble.html

Can I do a combination of both laser etching and sandblasting?

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Yes! We have created many designs which included both laser etching and sandblasting. These monuments were typically dark colored granite, as the laser etching cannot be done on a light colored granite. Each monument we design is completely customized using the information you provide us. If you would like to include both laser etching and sandblasting aspects into your design, all you need to do is let us know. Once we have an understanding of the desired outcome, we will review the options with you.

Contact us at 877-836-0332 or by email at info@mlestones.com!

If you can imagine it, we can create it!

To see pictures of some of our completed monuments, please visit our website at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/portfolio.html

 

Add a Picture to an Existing Monument!

Did you purchase your loved one’s monument before you realized it was possible to include their photo? Did you think it was too expensive to include an image? When you visit the cemetery, do you see all the beautiful pictures on the stones and wish you could have your loved one’s picture on their monument too?

If so, you’re not alone and we now have a way to add that image without removing the entire monument or purchasing a new one!

Adding a Porcelain Portrait to your loved one’s monument is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Take a look at the variety of shapes and sizes of porcelain tiles we have available and choose the one you want!

2. Contact Mike’s Laser Etching to place your order and be sure to include the image you would like on the Porcelain Portrait!

3. Receive the finished product in the mail (for non-local clients) and apply the porcelain to the monument with the VHB (very high bondage) tape!

Porcelain Portraits can even display them at home! If you really love the image of your loved one & want to display it in your home or office, order a duplicate! Porcelains can be displayed just like a decorative plate or on an easel stand! Plus, when you order a duplicate, you will receive a discount!