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June 20, 2013

Cherry Valley Memorials has been family-owned since the '60s

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“My father told me, no two roses are the same,” Dan Viscosi said. “You were in the wrong for trying to make them look the same. And we put the piece in the yard and sold it week later.”

Dan Viscosi spoke very passionately about the artwork and craftsmanship involved in stone carving.

“I like the art because it’s deeper,” Viscosi said, tracing his hand across a small stone prototype. The artwork is done with a dremel, a high-speed rotary cutting tool.

“You can’t make a mistake because you can’t erase it,” Viscosi said.

It is also possible to get photos on a gravestone either by loading it on the computer and having a stencil of it cut or by attaching a ceramic photo on the face of the stone, almost like a sticker but it will stay for many years.

“When I was younger all of the artwork was religious stuff or flowers,” Viscosi said. “Now we do just about anything and it’s all in a typical days work.”

Viscosi pointed out various artwork Cherry Valley Memorials has done including: Snowmobiles, deer, nature scenes, war memorials, photos and even a picture of a full size 1979 model Mercedes-Benz Limo that was done in the 1980’s. It was made entirely out of one slab of granite. A man bought it for his 15-year old brother who had died before he could buy him a car.

“We’re very rich in history,” Viscosi said. “We’ve done (stones for) movie stars and, though I can’t name names, we’ve done some pretty famous people.”

Cherry Valley Memorials although rooted in history, is literally working with cutting edge technology, Viscosi said. Dan Viscosi’s first cousin James Faliveno invented technology that cuts the stencil so that every letter and graphic is straight and in the correct placement.

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