" Behold the Lamb of GOD which taketh away the Sin of the World." John 1: 29
David carves each stone by hand. No computers, stencils or templates. Each letter is hand drawn directly on the stone the same way it was in the Colonial Days.
Slate Tomb & Grave Stones
Hand Carved Slate Tombstones, Plaques, Reliefs or Quotes, all carved with a chisel and mallet!
SC Arts Commission Grant Recipient
The Gregory family of Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania wanted a design for their 10 year old son Montie that included some of his favorite things. This is what we came up with with the family, that included Montie's Whippet Dog, Dino, his Playstation Controller, Soccer Ball, Army Helmet, and Book. Montie's own signature was also included borrowing it from one of his school papers.

This Stone has now been set in the oldest Presbyterian Church Yard in Lancaster Co, being organized about 1721, Donegal Presbyterian Church.
I use only the best slate in North America, Buckingham Slate, from Virginia. It is a true Unfading slate that has been quarryed since the late 1700's and even Thomas Jefferson Used it for his building projects. Buckingham Slate is used on Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. and The Smithsonian Castle.
Thomas Jefferson also used BUCKINGHAM SLATE !
One of the first Americans to recognize the value and architectural beauty of slate in the United States was that master architect Thomas Jefferson. Geologist W. Rogers reported to Virginia Legislature that, "In texture, density and capacity of resisting atmospheric agents, it can scarcely be excelled by a similar material in any part of the world." He further recorded the use of Buckingham® Slate (still serviceable today) on the University of Virginia, specified by Thomas Jefferson for roof covering.
Gallery of Stones
Montie Gregory Stone, Lancaster Co. PA , 2011 Virginia Slate
by J. David Gillespie, Stonecutter.
Member: Association for Gravestone Studies
Member: Pickens County SC Historical Society.
Click to see Our
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Tombstone Castings
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The Hour Glass With Wings shows that “Time Flies.”
The Statement “Yesterday for me & To Day for Thee,” says to the reader

“Yesterday was my day, & Today is your day, but tommorrow will be someone else’s day.” Reader, this was an admonition of the original carver, Henry Emmes of Boston to realise that our lives are short, 250 yrs later this is still true.
This is a Casting of a Hand Carved piece of SLATE carved with a chisel and mallet, in the 18th Century Manner.
-by- J. David Gillespie Stone Cutter, So. Carolina. It is a carved reproduction of an Original Tombstone for Mr Thomas Poole, Sea Captain, (1717-1754) who drowned in the Charlestown SC Harbour, March 1754.
“And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves.” Matt. 8:24
Very Durable, Lightweight, Gray Color, Exact Detail, comes with Wall Hanger & Info Card. 12" x 6" x 1/2"
Resin Castings $39
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David demonstrating at Middleton Place, Charleston, SC July 2011
David Gillespie (864) 306-9929
Colonial Re-enactor happy to speak & Demonstrate at your School, Group, or re-enactment
Up until about a hundred years ago stones were cut by hand with a chisel and mallet. By God's grace I am endevouring to bring back slate stones to our church yards. Look Soon for the Grave of the Unknown Confederate Soldier on Secession Hill in Abbeville, SC. Monuments can last many lifetimes. Possibly 400 years or more! Longevity is Comparable to Granite, but with better detail, and more character. Works include the Secret Garden Stone on the Reedy River Childrens Garden near the Falls Park in the Historic West End, Greenville, SC. Let me carve a stone for you that will make a bold statement and last many generations! Slate will hold a legible inscription for centuries, usually retaining the mallet tap marks in each letter that is cut. Hand cut slate tombstones are very rarely carved in SC. The Lord allowed me the priviledge of taking stone cutting classes by a grant from the SC Arts Commission. These classes were near Providence, Rhode Island where a few people still cut these stones by hand. Slate is very impervious to weathering, that is why shingles of slate are used on court houses and very "high style" buildings. My ancestor Andrew McComb carved the Indian Massacre Grave stone of John C. Calhoun's grandmother around 1785. It is still located in Troy, SC over 210 years old and is very readable! I am also in the process of writing a book on Andrew McComb.
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This marble stone cut in 1800 is already unreadable. It is the stone of John Rutledge (1739-1800) a signer of the U.S. Constitution.
This slate stone just up the street in Charleston, SC was cut in 1732 and is still as sharp as the day the guy cut it.
Click here for a text only version of an article on Me & Renee in " The State" newspaper out of Columbia, SC, which Ran Jan 10, 2008
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Read my new "Notice!"
     If you are interested in having a stone carved, I would be pleased to offer my services. I do carve tombstones, signs and monuments for the general public as well as historic sites, etc. I Generally start out by sending a CD of my photos of original slate tombstones that I have taken dated 1729-1792. This will aid the prospective client, if they desire one. After that I can work up some sketches and we can go from there. Let me carve a piece of Stone for you that will send a bold statement to the generations to follow!
Video of David Carving Border on You Tube
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Let me carve a set of Custom Slate bookends for you.
5.5" by 6.5" by 2" thick.
Prices generally start out at about $130 for a pair, or $89 for a single Bookend.
Oct, 2011, David had the honor of demonstrating Slate carving at the American College of the Building Arts, Charleston, SC for the 1858 Society of the Gibbs Museum of Art.
Photo courtesy of Missy Loewe
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18" x 30" x 3"
Blue/ Black Slate, Edisto Island, SC
The Lindsay family wanted a stone that blended with stones already in the cemetery, mainly stones carved by Thomas Walker of Charleston, SC , active from 1793-1838. The stepped typanum was typical of his style. Elizabeth had a bachelors degree in music therapy and was passionately literate, knew her Shakespeare, her Bible, and her modern authors, very well.
10" x 12" x 1"
Blue/ Black Slate, Maryland
This is a copy of an original slate tombstone for Mary Owen 1749, Charleston, SC. It was carved as a gift from David R. Mould to Missy Loewe, authors of the famous book, " Historic Gravestone Art of Charleston, SC 1695-1802". The original was likely carved by William Codner of Boston.
24" x 36" x 1.5"
Blue/ Black Slate, Mount Joy, Lancaster Co, PA
The Gregory family of Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania wanted a design for their 10 year old son Montie that included some of his favorite things. This is what we came up with with the family, that included Montie's Whippet Dog, Dino, his Playstation Controller, Soccer Ball, Army Helmet, and Book. Montie's own signature was also included borrowing it from one of his school papers.
12" x 12" x 1"
Blue/ Black Slate, New Market, VA
A Small Gravestone for a special Virginia Cat, who was from the county in VA where I get my slate from, Buckingham. The owner designed the stone totally by herself! It turned out great!!
12" x 24" x 1.25"
Blue/ Black Slate, near Vonore, TN
A Stone to be mounted flat, Nikki King, the mother, opted to have Caleb, even though the doctors said the child would be still born, and suggested she have an abortion. Instead she was able to spend 11 hrs and 15 minutes with her precious son!!
Why Slate?
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"A Brief Treatise on Tomb & Grave Stones of the Eighteenth Century," David's New Book is now available for sale! You may "Buy it Now" by clicking on the button above for $24.99 plus $4.49 Shipping and Handling!
Natural Fibers
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Hand Spun Yarns
Spinning Wheel
Slate Tombstones
Flintlock Rifles
Minstrel Banjos
Dough Bowls
Trenchers (plates)
Rolling Pins
Hand Turned Ink Pens
Bread Boards
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Check out
our New Instructional DVD's!
Drop Spindles
Indigo Dyed Yard Cloth
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On the Road!