Flagstone Signs and Stone Engraving
The Light Benders have been producing custom flagstone signs and designs in flagstone for 25 years now. We began producing art work on flagstone as an offshoot of our work when etching designs in glass. Engraving designs or lettering into flagstone is a wonderful and unique way to display your street number or address, honor a loved one (human or pet), showcase your logo or ranch brand, or simply have a beautiful piece of artwork to display outdoors.
Over the years, we have produced flagstone patio tables with deep etched designs and logos in them, etched designs and house numbers in rocks, marble, granite and porcelain tile. All of the flagstone we use comes from quarries located in Northern Arizona, around the Ash Fork area. Our larger pieces, which we use for street signage, such as the large Tonto Verde street sign, and the Community Church of the Verdes sign, are custom quarried for us just north of Sedona. We have a long standing relationship with a large number of the best quarries in Arizona, and can, with a little notice, have slabs of flagstone delivered to our studio that range from 2000 to 4000 pounds and measure up to eight feet tall or wide. These larger pieces are generally ordered for commercial signage, and can be up to 6 inches thick! Our smaller, residential signage stones generally are one to two inches thick, and can be up to approximately 48 inches wide or tall (we are able to custom cut flagstone to any size however).
The process to engrave stones, etch or sandblast flagstone is a laborious one; and each step is performed by hand in The Light Benders Studio. We begin with the stone, chosen for a particular application. For instance, we recently etched black granite, which was incorporated in the storefront for Sephora in Scottsdale. In this case, the architect provided the granite, to ensure it matched the rest of the façade as the building was being finished. The stone, if it is in it’s natural state, needs to be smoothed somewhat, to allow us to apply a masking material to the surface we are going to etch or engrave. Once the masking has been applied, we then transfer the artwork, or lettering to the stone and cut out the areas we intend to etch or engrave. We achieve the depth in our work by sandblasting the stone, gradually abrading the surface until we achieve the appropriate depth. We still refer to the process as “sandblasting”, but in actuality, we no longer use sand! Today, due to the possibility of contracting silicosis from breathing the dust from sand, we have turned to aluminum oxide as the preferred medium to etch or engrave the surface. Aluminum oxide is a substantially more expensive medium, but it is safer for us, and is sharper, and therefore gives us wonderfully clean, crisp lines; allowing us to produce excellent, fine detail in our work. When we are commissioned to produce larger quantities of an item, we utilize a photo resist process that produces incredible detail for complex logos or lettering for longer runs of a product that will be exactly the same with each piece.
We use the same technique to etch or engrave glass, on things as delicate as crystal glassware. Etching or engraving on glass is where we began, and we continue to produce a wide variety of etched products which include, but are not limited to, glass trophies, wedding glasses, custom wine bottles, custom shower doors, custom desk tops and tables. Our sandblasting on doors and windows produces a design that is at once beautiful artwork to be admired, and provide privacy where needed. As this is not a coating, but an abraded surface, it will never fade, wear off or discolor. It requires no maintenance other than the cleaning and care you would provide on any glass surface in your home.
A short list of clients that we have produced trophies or custom etched artwork for include, The Phoenix Suns, The Arizona Planning Association, Arizona Public Service ( APS ), Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine, Farmers Insurance, The Commission on the Arizona Environment and The Rio Verde Horsemans Association, to name just a few.
If you are searching for a unique gift or trophies for your next event, either in short runs, or larger quantities, please feel free to contact us so that we can discuss your specific needs.