So many times, an urn begins with an idea. Someone might think about a fond memory they had, or an aspect of their loved one that was particularly beautiful or easy to recall. That winning smile, or even a favorite tattoo, could be recreated on an urn and available for all eternity. We often hold onto an image of a loved one because we want to never forget those little things about them that could be so difficult to hang onto, decades after they leave us.
Even in grief, we want to be reminded of these things. It hurts to think of a loved one who is gone, but it hurts more to feel their absence. Placing those images and mementos before our regular sight is one way to keep our memories alive, and our love green. The task, then, is to ensure that the recreation is as accurate as the original. Although photographed images are often as crisp as the day they were taken, they can fade over the years and become difficult to tell.
It is the skill and gifted eye of a talented designer that can bring an image like this back to life, often better than they were in the pictures used. At In The Light Urns, we have much experience helping our customers to devise an image for an urn that is exactly as they recall. Sometimes, the pictures are blurry and we must engage with our customers to refine our design until it is just what they had in mind. We put a variety of tools and technologies to the task to build the custom urn that is precisely what a person imagines, as their loved one’s final rest. For a memory on an item that could truly last forever, we think the effort is worth it.
Custom Graphics Creation
It might surprise people to learn that much of the first step of the creation of a custom urn involves listening. We like to have our customers call us or contact us about a unique urn idea they have. We have our best opportunity right then to get a detailed description of their plan. We listen to an explanation and sometimes, we also get to hear the story behind it. If we need clarification about the image, we might ask for pictures to help us establish the basics. After filling in the details, we set to building the design.
Every urn we make is bought as an expression of love for a person who has passed, and we always keep that in mind. Our customers are uniquely invested in the products we provide, and so they are an integral piece of our decision-making team about the custom urns they want to purchase. We will take an idea or an image and start to use our design skills (often through the magic of Adobe Photoshop) to transform the plan into reality. We aim to do all the work, but customer approval is also an important part of our design process. Before we turn the image into line art for engraving, a custom photo template or a 3D printed urn, we request confirmation from our customers to ensure we have made the design perfectly.
For some people, this talent has to be seen to be believed. Recently, we had the opportunity to create an image from a picture of a tattoo that had faded significantly over the years, as tattoos tend to do. Our customer longed to have a permanent reminder of that design with the dates of her loved one’s life engraved prominently below. By working with her closely on extracting the elements of the design from the picture she sent us, we were able to construct an image of line art that was just what she wanted.
With the right image, we turn over the design to our engraving team to handle the engraving requested. If we are doing a line art engraving, or just adding a few lines of text to another custom design, we have a couple of options available depending on the material used. These include diamond-drag engraving, laser engraving and sandblasting.
Diamond-drag engraving is a popular tool that many people might have seen in action before. The process sounds much like its name. The engraving tool holds a bit with a cut diamond on the very end. Diamond is one of the hardest surfaces in the world, which means it can cut or etch into most other surfaces. The diamond-drag machine uses the diamond bit to drag across a piece of metal (e.g. bronze, steel or brass) in a particular design. The diamond bit takes off the first layer of the metal, revealing another layer underneath. Often, the type of metal has a different color on the inside layers, making the engraving visually striking and obvious to the naked eye. It is also possible to oxidize parts of the metal to make the engraving darker.
for other materials, or for a different look, we might rely on laser engraving. Unlike diamond-drag engraving, laser engraving burns a design into the material instead of etching parts of the material away. Laser engraving can be done manually or with a computerized machine, depending on the design requested. One benefit of laser engraving is that it may be done on materials ranging from steel to wood and plastic. This dramatically increases the choices our customers could select for their urns. Laser engraving can also be performed deeply into the material, making it ideal for urns that may encounter a lot of weathering over time.
Although sandblasting sounds like something that would be very difficult to control, our skilled engravers have brought it down to a true art form. Sandblasting is a kind of engraving that uses the high-pressure force of very small bits of a hard material, to etch materials that can be complicated to cut. Sandblasting is particularly useful for engraving glass urns, and provides a design that is both easy to read and beautifully done.
3D Printing from Images
As technology marches on, we strive to keep in step. As a result, we have developed a notable amount of experience making even the trickiest two-dimensional images into an urn in full 3D glory. Our streamlined process lets us turn a custom graphic image into a 3D urn almost as simply as we could engrave onto an existing material. We invested in a 3D printer we keep in-house, allowing us to produce nearly any design our customers can envision. The printer is built to work with certain types of design programs, which our design team uses to convert a picture or other graphic from our customers into an item with depth and texture that they can feel as well as see. The final product is often so true to life that it is amazing what the balance of expertise and technology can form.
Pictures help to create the memories we keep with us when our loved ones cannot be close by. It is unsurprising that many of In The Light Urns’ customers want urns made from pictures. With our attention to detail and technologies we have mastered, we can work with our customers to generate an image for a custom urn they will love to have in the family for many decades to come.