Pin Etching.The seventh wonder of the monument world. If you are considering a pin etching on your stone or just curious about the process, these insights will give you an edge when designing your monument. This is the future of monument and headstone design. A pin etcher is a computerized machine that takes your pictures and replicates them on stone using a control program on a design computer. Lets take a look at the process of pin etching.

Selecting Photos

A quality etching starts with you, the customer. There is an old saying we tell our kids, “garbage in, garbage out.” Meaning, if we put garbage into our mind then we end up producing those qualities on the outside. the same goes for the etching process. If you choose an extremely blurry photo, one taken on a poor camera phone, or a picture with bad lighting (too dark, or too bright), it is harder for the photo editor to balance the lighting and produce an amazing result on stone. A brightly lit photo with bright highlights and glare creates washed out sections of the final photo. Inversely related to that if the picture is too dark the photo will not show up on the black stone that is required for pin etchings. Always use good judgement when selecting photos for your monument.


The Editing Process

Once your photo selection has been received, a Photoshop artist takes your picture and edits it to optimize the performance of the etching machine. He brings out detail and contrast, fixes or removes backgrounds, and smooths lines and edges. When it is all done the picture is saved as an optimized black and white picture and is sent back to the customer for approval. The editing process may change the original photo slightly and approval is needed to make sure any changes are okay and the customer is happy with their product.


The etching process finally ends with the machine running the picture and duplicating it onto the stone. Pin etchings are done on Jet Black granite which provides the highest quality and contrast of the images. Each etching takes anywhere between 35 minutes and 6 hours depending on the size of the image and how much detail is involved. Even though its a time consuming process, the final product cannot be beaten and is well worth the investment.

pin etching SquiresStone heinze_house Pin Etcher 1 Pin Etcher 2

Overall, pin etching is definitely a new advancement in monument design and Patten’s Michigan Monuments is proud to serve you with one of our machines. Always providing the best quality and service possible. Please contact Patten’s for more questions and concerns.