The thing that brings me more pleasure than anything when making memorials for people, is the symbolic significance they hold. Whether it is an urn for ashes or a garden sculpture, I try to imbue the work symbolically with the essence of the person it represents. This may be through a certain colour, or an inscription, or a shape or form.
The materials used are also very important. If the person was Welsh, I would try and design something using some local slate or oak, if they come from the south of England I would source some Portland or other local stone. A piece of local stone used for a sculpture is a small chunk of the land the person comes from and speaks of them as well as the place they were born or lived in. It is a small piece of “their world”. We are part of Britain, Europe, the World, but home never leaves us.
It is surprising how many different quarries there are in the UK still extracting lovely local stone for architectural use. The Stone Federation has produced a map with them on. Always try and find a local stone to use for a memorial if you can.