Memorial stone in slate

Welsh Slate

I was commissioned by family friends to inscribe a memorial for their daughter. Stone used was Welsh slate (the best to letter-carve).

I received the slab from Wincilate based in North West Wales, known for providing for the finest letter carvers in the UK. It is incredibly fine relatively soft and unlike other slates which can pluck, Welsh slate doesn’t pluck quite so much.

Design Process

Although the end design was relatively simple, the process was quite painstaking. The clients were very particular about the shape which was a Drop Arch (where the radial points of the arch sit outside the opposite springing points) which was then repeated as a moulding around the edge.

The typeface was Trajan Roman and the type would be justified.

The final design

Starting the masonry

I designed the type by hand and transferred it to the slate using carbon paper. The vertical lines are guides for me when carving.

I started the carving tentatively.

Below, the (almost) finished lettering

I then gilded the slate with 24ct gold leaf using a 3 hour size.

The stone was installed in Cambridge by myself and my stepson Ben.



  1. oliver Gill said:

    I think it’s lovely, and I can see it makes a huge difference for the parents.

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