Here at Pets At Rest, we like to think our work speaks for itself – we have online galleries which can show you what we can do, not to mention pages of letters which give a valuable insight into what past customers think about their memorials. And while both of these things offer good examples of our capabilities, it has come to our attention recently that the personal connection between past customers and those considering a new memorial can get lost sometimes. Which is why today, for this new post on the brand-new blog, we have decided to showcase a couple of past memorials which have presented particular challenges to our talented craftsmen.
Because that's the thing which we feel makes Pets At Rest different from our competitors. Rather than just offering a stock product, a customer can come to us and make a special request and we will do our best to accommodate their wishes in every way we can. Have a look at the following two examples and...who knows? You might be inspired to think about a design for your pet which you would never have considered before.
One customer who came to us had a very specific idea of what he wanted, and his idea was everything that is interesting about our often unusual job: full of vision, design, and unique qualities which would make it really stand out. The piece was also going to be two feet square, making it a sizeable job, and one that would take considerable time to get precisely right.
Firstly, instead of just requesting an off-the-shelf memorial for his dog, he wanted us to replicate a paw print using separate pieces of specially-shaped granite. We won't lie...this wasn't a simple job! It began with a consultation, where we tried to record all the important details, and was followed by a series of sketches being sent back and forth. Then followed a number of phone calls, until soon the design was perfected and the client was satisfied enough that the drawing could go off to be turned into the individual pieces...
...The next stage involved engraving the letters into the granite, and engraving more text into the centre piece. And when it came to organising the pieces on-site, the client wanted the design laid completely flat. This was no problem, although we did advise that the stone be left untreated and unpainted, as any water lying stagnant on the area for too long would soon wear away the paint. This turned out to be a wise idea for two reasons: not only did it look more natural, but longevity was also provided, meaning minimal future maintenance and less cost incurred.
Another customer came to us with a similar passion for excellence – although this job was very different and involved an entirely different skill-set; one that demanded the finest in artistic stone-engraving techniques – something which has to be done correctly, and with a precision that will allow for the minute details to be accurately represented.
This piece was also a large headstone (see below): at twelve by eighteen inches it was more along the lines of something which you'd see in a conventional graveyard. Adorned with designs that were in themselves individual masterpieces, the work that was to go into this memorial was painstaking, and would test our fine-art skills to the limit...
...It began with a brief, as all our bespoke orders do: create a stunning upright headstone – very much in the conventional sense of the word, as you can see in the photo – with a specially shaped top, and use photo-engraving to transmit images of a rabbit and a pheasant onto its surface, as well as the pet it would be an ode to. The next stage was for us to source the images, which we did swiftly. Once this was done, time was taken to ensure the layout we had in mind matched the one the customer had so often imagined. From there it was, as ever, a case of ironing out the fine details which only appear at the very last moment – details which many of our customers probably don't notice, but which are obvious to those who work in the trade – before starting work on the finished product.
As you can see from the photograph, we were very happy with the finished article and so too was the customer. Yes it was a tricky job at times, but like all our work, it's the most complex jobs we do which are the most satisfying.