Walk through one of the many cemeteries in Kent, WA and you will see a variety of headstone embellishments. One very popular one is the porcelain memorial portrait. One of the reasons they are so popular is that they can be added to the headstone at any time which allows families great flexibility if they wish to add one after the initial design. To learn more about these ornamental features and if one might be right for your loved one’s headstone, keep reading as we answer some commonly asked questions.
What is a Porcelain Memorial Portrait?
If you are not familiar with a porcelain memorial portrait, it is simply an image that is placed on a piece of porcelain and attached externally to a headstone. These porcelain portraits are made from a porcelain tablet that is baked to over 800 degrees Celsius. They are durable and stand up well to the elements. Due to their durability, many manufacturers offer a lifetime guarantee.
Are the Portraits in Color?
Families are able to have the image on the porcelain created in color or black and white. When choosing a color, the color pigments are added before heating the porcelain. This makes the colors very resistant to fading.
What Shapes and Sizes are Available?
There are many shapes and sizes of porcelain memorial portraits available. Some of the most popular shapes are round, oval, rectangular, and heart shapes. This is by no means, however, all the shapes offered in these portraits can be customized into almost any shape.
The same is true when it comes to sizes. There are some common, popular sizes, but many manufacturers are able to create custom sizes.
How is the Image Made?
Using today’s technology, porcelain images can be created with just about any good-quality image the family chooses. This is because the digital image will be scanned and transferred onto the porcelain piece using metallic ink. The piece is then fired which permeates the ink into the porcelain.
Considerations When Choosing a Photo
While each porcelain memorial portrait provider may be able to offer slightly different options and/or services, there are a few things that are pretty universal when it comes to the image of the portrait. These things are:
- The background can typically be removed
- Normally the image will need to be in a digital format and be a .jpeg file of at least 300 dpi
- The colors of the end product may not match the photo exactly due to the pigments and the high temperatures they are heated to
- It’s best to use the original photo if at all possible
- Slight retouching and alterations can sometimes be done to the image
- The image many times can be flipped (mirror image)
- Black and white images can be colorized
- The porcelain piece can be in the portrait of the landscape format
Planning ahead for your visit to the cemetery is a very special and personal time. Adding a porcelain memorial portrait to your loved one’s headstone can be a wonderful addition. Showing visitors the face of who is resting at the gravesite can really make them feel more connected to that person. These additions can be included in the beginning design layout, or as a design element later down the road. While most cemeteries in Kent, WA allow for these to be used on headstones that are installed, always check with your specific cemetery to make sure.