The pink-colored engraving sand comes from Australia. Tyler Abigt uses tons and tons of it each year.
The expertise comes from spending a considerable amount of time studying and working under the man he bought his business from.
Tyler Abigt and his father, Bill Abigt, arrived at St. Paul earlier this week. They were here to engrave the names of the dear souls whose ashes were recently buried in the Memorial Garden. The two worked on the first large stone marker that stands tall with the memories of each person listed.
Tyler owns Abigt Lettering. It is his Ottumwa, Iowa-based business that engraves many memorials throughout the region.
“I travel many, many gravel roads,” he said, of his work that mostly involves visiting cemeteries.
Using special tools and that pink sand, he engraves death dates and grave markers, and names on memorials, such as the state’s fire fighter remembrance. He creates a unique stencil for each job. The rubbery texture of the stencil turns darker as he works – the changing hue serving as a guide on whether the depth of the engraving is right.
Tyler has memorized dozens and dozens of fonts, and can identify most by site. Optima is the font for the St. Paul Memorial Garden, for example, a font that Tyler said is an enduring one and will not fall out of style.
The St. Paul Memorial Garden is a lush outdoor space of rest, relaxation, and spiritual peace. It graces the northeast corner of the church campus, at Brady and Lombard Streets.
The garden hosts plantings that change with the seasons – along with the buried ashes from members of the St. Paul community who have died. Rooted in this beautiful place is the centering confidence in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
Tyler’s work can be done year-round, except for in extreme cold and heat. His dad, who owns a framing shop, helps out when things get busy. Tyler takes seriously the commitment of remembering people well.
“Each day really is different,” he said, while talking of the opportunity to experience so many places and honor the people who make those places special.