Copyright ÂŠ 2016 by Randi Hodges.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.
WELCOME THE WORLD WORLD WELCOME TO THE OFNATURAL NATURAL STONE STONE ENGRAVING OF ENGRAVING
YOUR FRIENDS AT NORTHWEST STONE WISE INC. WWW.STONEWISE.COM & NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING YOUR FRIENDS AT NORTHWEST STONE WISE INC. WWW.NATURALSTONEENGRAVING.COM
WWW.STONEWISE.COM & NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING WWW.NATURALSTONEENGRAVING.COM
CONTENTS CONTENTS CHAPTER CHAPTERONE: ONE:Introduction Introduction� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 5� 5
CHAPTER CHAPTERTWO: TWO:Graphics, Graphics,Art, Art,Text TextLayout Layout&&Design Design� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 27 � 27
CHAPTER CHAPTERTHREE: THREE:What WhatYou YouWill WillNeed NeedLet’s Let’sExplore Explore� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 61 � 61
CHAPTER CHAPTERFOUR: FOUR:Grit Gritand andSafety Safety� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 81 � 81
CHAPTER CHAPTERFIVE: FIVE:Stencil StencilMeets MeetsStone Stone� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 87 � 87
CHAPTER CHAPTERSIX: SIX:Marketing Marketingavenues avenues� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 103 � 103
APPENDIX APPENDIX� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �127 127
CHAPTER ONE Introduction CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER ONE Introduction Introduction Introduction Introduction Introduction Introduction
CHAPTER THREE What You Will Need Let’s Explore
x x x x x x x
Four distinct industries A niche in every town Who this manual is written for Rocktails xx Four Four distinct distinct industries industries xx Four distinct industries Four distinct industries Randi’s Story A niche in every town xx Four distinct industries A niche in every town Four distinct industries x A niche in every town A niche in every town Who is our collaborator Rayzist? xx Four distinct industries Who this manual is A niche every town distinct industries Who thisin manual is written written for for xx Four A niche in every town Who this manual is written for Who this manual is written for YouTube Video: Welcome xxto Rayzist – p.15 A niche in every town Rocktails Who this is written for niche inmanual every town Rocktails xx A Who this manual is written for Rocktails Rocktails Got Rocks? x Who this manual is written for x Air-Pressure-Environment Randi’s Story Rocktails xx Who this manual is written for Randi’s Story Rocktails x Randi’s Story Randi’s Story xx trade: Rocktails x Tools of the An overview Who is our collaborator Rayzist? Randi’s Story Who is our collaborator Rayzist? xx Rocktails Randi’s Story Who is our collaborator Rayzist? Who is our collaborator Rayzist? xx known Randi’s Story x Blasters (also as sandblast pots) YouTube Video: Welcome to Who is our collaborator Rayzist? Story Video: Welcome to Rayzist Rayzist – – p.15 p.15 x Randi’s Who YouTube is our collaborator Rayzist? YouTube Video: Welcome to Rayzist – p.15 YouTube Video: Welcome to Rayzist – p.15 xx Who is our collaborator Rayzist? x Sandblast cabinets and environments Got Rocks? YouTube Video: Welcome to Rayzist – p.15 Who is our collaborator Rayzist? Got Rocks? YouTube Video: Welcome to Rayzist – p.15 x Got Rocks? x Got Rocks? YouTube Video: Welcome to Rayzist – YouTube Sandcarving system cabinet 2034VX –p.15 p. 69 xx Video: Got Rocks? YouTube Video: Welcome to Rayzist – p.15 Got Rocks? xx Got Rocks? Got Rocks? x Blasting rooms and alternatives x Hitting the road
THE ART, PROCESS AND TECHNIQUE OF NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING THE ART, PROCESS AND TECHNIQUE OF NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING
This book is unique because it is the first one to present a complete approach to learning
approached much differently in terms of layout, set up, application and clean up. Finally, we are now in the legions of professional sand carvers and industrial sandblasters. As natural stone engravers, you are already knowledgeable in pressure pots; different abrasives and grits; moisture separation; pressure settings; nozzle size and compressor requirements.
FOUR DISTINCT INDUSTRIES Being in the stone engraving business, we have our feet in four distinct industries. First is the Sign Industry, as we use the same art programs they do and we need what they have to offer in stencil creation capabilities. Think decals…The sign business works in the same vector format, but uses a plotter cutter. While they use vinyl for most of their applications, we use the same method to create stencils in sandblast mask for our stones. Second, we are involved in the Awards, Recognition and Personalization business. The industry leaders are proficient in the engraving of glass, crystal, porcelain, plastics and hundreds of substrates in between. Multi-stage blasting and the incredible design work you folks do has me in awe. However, natural stone has presented a challenge for you. Third, we are a part of the Monument and Memorial industry. Their process is similar and we have learned a lot from them. However, they deal primarily with polished stone and marble. Natural stone has to be
We are going to present the many aspects of natural stone engraving. We will discuss each aspect in detail, review various options you have and help you determine how you can find the necessary resources to succeed in natural stone engraving. Also provided are links to manufacturers’ websites and YouTube videos to show and explain the process to you. When discussing photo resist and plotter cutting processes, we will go into greater detail in subsequent chapters. We will also address the additional expense items. This chapter is a general overview of the fundamentals of stone engraving business. We will also explain how you can start this business with little or no cash outlay.
Look throughout the manual for the Light Bulb and Stone for money saving opportunities. If you do not own the proper equipment for natural stone engraving or do not plan to purchase it anytime soon, we have provided you with information to “contract” out and rent equipment as you test the viability of this business for yourself.
THE ART, PROCESS AND TECHNIQUE OF NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING THE ART, PROCESS AND TECHNIQUE OF NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING
When and if you do decide to purchase your own equipment, it will be important for you to understand the following chapters because it may save you considerable expense in purchasing the right equipment. Our collaborating manufactures and preferred vendors have also put together some awesome packages for our readers.
NICHE IN EVERY TOWN There is a need and a niche in every town that has pet lovers who experience pet loss. I feel that there is enough business for every Mom and Pop, (excuse the term) in every city across this country and beyond. A bit of motivation and effort, and you could be the “The Rock Guy or Gal or Family”(I was the Rock Lady, my sister was the “Other Rock Lady”) of Reseda or Des Moines. The person that “Carves It in Stone” is creating a lasting tribute.
Does your community celebrate marriages and anniversaries? What about commemorating and honoring loved ones who passed away? Does your area offer local growers’ or farmers’ markets? That is where we started!
Stone carving has always been symbolic, defying time and is about commemorating, memorializing, and celebrating special passages. Memorializing loved ones has been an industry for thousands of years in civilized society. In these times when finding authenticity is difficult, stone is universally solid, organic and real.
THE ART, PROCESS AND TECHNIQUE OF NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING THE ART, PROCESS AND TECHNIQUE OF NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING
“Carving It in Stone” is now an art form and your customers are waiting for you. It is a trade, a purpose, a service, a calling, an occupation, a profession, a vocation of yester year with the luxury of today’s technology. Life will always have special milestones, no matter the state of the economy!
In every town, people experience losses
and celebrate new arrivals.
My mission (and the purpose of this manual) is to support you in entering this seemingly simple industry. I hope to take the mystery out of natural stone engraving and teach you what I have learned after years in this wonderful business. My objective is to
Our hope is that we have succeeded in providing you a complete and comprehensive reference guide. Collectively, we feel that the world of natural stone engraving is a rewarding and unique business.
Milestones will always be celebrated and commemorated!
Wishing you Rock Solid Success in this recession proof business opportunity.
[mahyl-stohn] 1. A stone that shows the distance in miles to or from a place 2. A significant event or stage in the life, progress and development, 3. A significant historical period, etc.
WHO THIS MANUAL IS WRITTEN FOR
their primary careers all over the country, wondering who is going to hire them. “With ‘retirement’ being threatened, Second-Act Careers will become the recognized lifeline for those seeking income, newly defined meaning, and purpose in their lives.”—Dan Miller, author and life coach, www.48Days.com
Entrepreneurs You are likely college educated and the underemployed. You are drawn to this opportunity because it makes perfect sense.
This Manual Is Written For You Sand Carvers–ARA You are great at working with glass and creating awards, but are looking to expand your business. You have the equipment and software but you are frustrated because natural stone is handled much differently than glass.
Sign Industry-ISA & SGIA You have all of the necessary software and the know-how. You have been looking for another revenue stream or hobby. You may already have sandblasting equipment for your sign making needs.
Plan B-You know who you are. Encore-Next Avenue-Boomers… The gray hair means higher salary. Those fifty and over are retiring from
Landscape Suppliers, Stone Vendors and Designers You already work with rock. Offering engraving services will provide additional value to your customers and expand your business.
Monument and Memorial Professionals Natural stone is handled much differently than polished marble and granite. I know you too have been frustrated with clean up and the trouble you ran into when attempting to engrave natural stone. Due to the porous nature of natural stone, application and clean-up is handled much differently.
Industrial Sandblasters If you are not engraving natural stone – you are losing business. This should be an easy read for you. Change your grit and nozzle – change your world. Perhaps you already have a mobile set up. You are a natural for numerous on site opportunities.
Our last shop (2011):
Marketing flyer circa 2008:
Our manual shows you in detail how to select materials and vendors with live links and videos; where to find customers; how to get free business financing if you need it and how to become an artisan in natural stone engraving. We hope to become the first standard reference guide exclusively for Natural Stone Engraving. You could become one of the many who have already joined the lucrative sand carving industry. With over 17 years of creative, often painful, technical and practical experience, I now wish to share with you what I have learned. It has been a very rewarding career, we have sold a lot of stone and we have learned so very much. Read on you will discover the what and the why this is so. Start-up programs are available with many of our preferred vendors. We also will explain ways to start your own natural stone engraving business for as little as the cost of this book!
by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought, “I wish that I could be a high official!” Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summer day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”
The Stonecutter There was once a stonecutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life. One day, he passed a wealthy merchant’s house and through the open gateway saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter. To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!” Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!” Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it: a huge, towering stone. “How powerful that stone is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a stone!” Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock and felt himself being changed. “What could
be more powerful than I, the stone?” he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter. Benjamin Hoff
Russell H. Conwell: Acres of Diamonds “Acres of Diamonds” originated as a speech which Conwell delivered over 5,000 times around the world. It was first published in 1890 by the John Y. Huber Company of Philadelphia. The central idea of the work is that one need not look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune— the resources to achieve all good things are present in one’s own community. This theme is developed by an introductory anecdote, credited by Conwell to an Arab guide, about a man who wanted to find diamonds so badly that he sold his property and went off in futile search for them. The new owner of his home discovered that a rich diamond mine was located right there on the property. Conwell elaborates on the theme through examples of success, genius, service, or other virtues involving ordinary Americans contemporary to his audience: “dig in your own backyard!”
Today My Best Friend Saved My Life Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument: and the one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand. Today my best friend slapped me in the face. They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “Today my best friend saved my life.” The one who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now you wrote on a stone, why?” The friend replied, “when someone hurts us, we should write it in the sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.” Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.
RANDI’S STORY Randi’s Story 1995–present
https://goo.gl/cveiOp In 1995, I was a young mother with a five year old daughter and a husband whose work often took him away from home for weeks at a time. We needed 2 incomes. I was working as an outside sales rep in the gift and garden industry for 3 years prior to her birth and had a 400 mile territory. I traveled with my daughter, Nickie, to the many kid-friendly buyers’ meetings, at which she was happy to play quietly with her books and toys. She had fun jumping on the hotel beds at night and eating fast food! She loved our road trips and we enjoyed our time together. We worked it out so that when my husband came home, he stayed with our daughter and I attended the meetings at which a child’s presence would not be appropriate. By the way, that 5 year old is now 24 and has just received her Master’s, Summa Cum Laude. Then, in 1995, she was about to start kindergarten, and traveling with Mom was no longer an option. Uh oh! What to do? I was doing one
of our trade shows in Seattle. While wandering the 20 some floors of a wholesale gift mart, my eye caught this little stone, about 5” in diameter that had the word “imagine” engraved on it. I went in to ask if the Seattle rep knew where I could purchase one of these stones locally. I was directed to the Seattle Wharf and handed over $23.00 for almost the same wonderful stone with “imagine” all in lower case. Just a rock; for $23.00??!! This plain, simple river rock had me mesmerized. I was comforted by both its power and the simple word that was deeply engraved upon it. I smiled at what I held, and the value the message had for me. I knew at this point what my future would involve. I would learn this craft. Whatever I was to become, I would be good at this. My love for nature, the natural, the organic and the simple, along with the overwhelming entrepreneurial spirit would fuel this goal. Since I was four, I had been entertaining the ice cream man with a short song about ice cream; raising guinea pigs & rabbits; publishing other simple manuals and pursuing many other entrepreneurial ideas. I have an art background and have been a quote collector since I could remember. I could do this, and do it well. Perfect! Now what? I began my research at memorial headstone businesses. Their guidance was valuable and it gave me some information, they did profess that natural stone was handled much differently than polished marble and granite. I then hit Google. I found two other entrepreneurs that had similar ideas about stone engraving, but it was not of the quality that I wanted to achieve. When I spoke to both men, they were very reluctant, to say the least, to offer me any information. The game was on, and the idea of the manual was born. The first edition manual was written in 1999. We feel that there is enough opportunity for every entrepreneur across the country to do well in this business with a bit of common sense, focus, long hours, and hard work. Even if you just stay in your 13
town, between the vets, memorial homes, cemetery sextons, realtors and craft and growers’ markets, you would do great. These were my beginnings.
We are now in our 19th year. Since this is the newest edition, I will not proceed with the details in-between: we went bigger, we went bolder, bigger shops, smaller shops, built shops, hired and fired web masters, we went mobile, went “postal”, we went smaller, we added wholesale, dropped wholesale. What a journey! We have learned so much. We would like to be known as the industry leaders in NATURAL STONE ENGRAVING. We may form an association, NSEA (Natural Stone Engraving Association) which could effectively unite us and allow us to share information. Who knows?
When we sold the business in August 2012, our team included 4 full-time & 6 part-time employees, two of which are â€œMaster Engravers,â€? with over 31 years of combined experience.
Who is Rayzist?
Our team has engraved 9 Over 140 tons of natural river stone. 9 Over 952,000 stones for companies like Ford Motors (they alone ordered 131,000). 9 Over 85,000 stones for gifts, corporate, weddings, anniversaries, celebrations, proposals, commemoratives, memorials (people and pets), cornerstones, family stones, address stones, affirmations, meditations and contracts. The list goes on and on. (See the gallery in the back for examples of our work.) I now have the time to develop this e-manual. I remain the pinch hitter for the new owners at Stone Wise if needed. I wish them the very best with all my heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears. Also, a whole lot of love for the years of loyalty, patronage and glorious feedback during our 19 years of service from so many wonderful customers and friends! I only wish the same for you!
*** WHO IS OUR COLLABORATOR RAYZIST?
https://goo.gl/AlduzQ “Rayzist Photomask, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of photoresist films and sand carving equipment. Our position within the industry affords us the advantage of scale, but it is our approach to serving you, our customer, that sets us apart.” (Rayzist.com) Rayzist offers the industry’s most complete product line, which includes everything from sand carving systems, to films and supplies. It is basically the one-stop-shop for natural stone engraving needs and it is open 24/7. As an owner of this manual, you will receive an access number for huge savings, custom packages on equipment and films, as well as stock stencil packages. You will also be invited to take advantage of their monthly special only for access number holders provided to you as manual buyers. Throughout the manual we will be directing you to the Rayzist site for additional information, such as their educational videos, ordering links and product and pricing information.
You will need to research your local area to see what sources are available to you. Here are some possibilities: x Your entire operation depends upon this not so minor piece, so this is where we will begin our journey. Do you have the ability to locate and secure the right kind of rocks? These stones must be the right size, have a relatively smooth surface and not be chipped, flawed or too porous. They must be attractive and sit nicely.
Tumbled river cobbles are a good choice if you have access to these. Look for property owners along a river or where a river once ran, since they will often let you carry off the rocks just to get rid of them. We now have several folks who bring us the kind of rocks we need and know what we are looking for—for a very reasonable price. Advertise your need for rocks in your local paper, Craigslist or by posting fliers at your local markets. You will be surprised who comes forward. Always make sure to check the quality of your purchase before delivery. Rock vendors may be located on the yellow pages under headings such as stone, landscape, rock, and masonry. In our valley we pay $.06 to $.12 per pound for river rock, which are 5 to 12 inch gray or beige cobbles. Also, check with local garden centers and landscape suppliers. Specialty stones for use as memorial rocks are more expensive and will vary in appearance depending on where they were quarried. Larger “higher end” rocks generally sell in our area for $.20 to $.35 per pound. However, we are reselling them to their new owners for as much as $375.00. Your may incur a crating charge on top of that plus shipping fees UPS or Trucking 17
Companies. Given the unusual beauty of the specialty stones, the higher price was seldom an issue to my customers.
Don’t be afraid to branch out. It may be worth the trouble to travel to the next town yourself in order to get what you need. If you’re having rocks delivered to your location, keep in mind that most rock yards have a minimum amount. You may end up ordering more than you need and many that you cannot use.
Folks also sent us personal stones to engrave ALL the time from all over the planet. This was awesome! We charged $20 minimum and $7.85 S&H. This seems to be working out very well.
Although at times the responsibility was a bit nerve racking
These are typically softer and lighter stones to work with.
There are many unique, uniform tumbled stone from many of the landscape supply yards. These are perfect for fund raising options, or special programs you may offer. Our supplier for this is COVERALL STONE here in the Northwest.
Flag stones such as these allow us to work 60% larger with our art because of the flat surface. 19
0ur Pocket Size – Art 1”
Our Tiny Size – Art 1.75”
Wonderful Malaysian pastels~ they engrave like a dream! Peach, white, key lime green and beautiful mauve beige. Many outlets countrywide are now carrying these specialty stones. They are wedding favor favorites and can be found at many US rock distributors. Check your local yards.
A successful Valentines campaign…
MINIS (on the smaller end) – Art 2.5” 21
rocks. As with all natural stones, color and shape will vary from stone to stone.
We offered 3 primary stone choices:
1. Cobble Stone Cobble stones are what many think of as “traditional rocks”. And were the most popular. Stones tend to be softer, oval and rounded. Often referred to as river
2. Slab Cut: Slab cut are vast in variety. Every now and then our vendor rock yard acquired specialty stones; these were one-time-only buys. They were rough with tumbled edges. I discovered that the lighter they were, the better they were for engraving. Sandstone is a dream to sandblast, just make sure the stone is not flaky. Also make sure that these stones are very dry before processing them. Many of them hold moisture like sponges and will undermine your stencil adhesion.
3. Our Stone D’jour: Whatever we could get our hands on that was really cool. You will appreciate good rock working surfaces. Our d’jours were sometimes “onesies” or limited 23
quarry runs. We engraved some truly beautiful stone. As jobs came up, knowing which special stones were in stock, I sold them and placed them with the right families. These stones did not fit in any categories, but they were always stunning stones. After we offered our customers a description, these dâ€™jours were always well received.
Rock Sizes Most of our standard rocks fit into the size categories of pocket, tiny, mini, small, medium, and large. We used these measurements to determine how much text/artwork can be comfortably stenciled and blasted on each and, therefore, how we price them. Our memorial stones are much larger and are priced according to their unique sizes, qualities, and the amount of text and artwork used. More on sizing and specifics in chapter two.
We ordered these slate stepping stones from a company in Texas. Last I heard they went out of business, but were great sellers if you can find a vendor.
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