Excerpt from review by Robert Drinkwater
in theAGS Quarterly: Bulletin of the Association for Gravestone Studies (Winter & Spring 2008) 32:1&2; 16.
"In this meticulously detailed, superbly illustrated volume, James Blachowicz sets forth the results of a decade of productive research in the cemeteries, libraries and county courthouses of eastern Massachusetts.
. . .
In From Slate to Marble, Blachowicz has provided the first comprehensive, in-depth study of New England gravestones and stonecutters during the period in which the stonecutters’ trade was evolving into the monument business. All but the earliest of his 27 principal stonecutters engraved urns, willows and other neo-classical motifs. There are hundreds of illustrations of this neglected genre of gravestone art in the text and on the accompanying CD.
In his analysis, Blachowicz often uses lettering, along with other design elements to differentiate the work of the stonecutters he studied. He has included an exposition of his methodology and a catalogue of the lettering styles of principal carvers in Appendix 1 (pages 359-71). Following Appendix 1, one page describes the remote-flash technique he used to photograph gravestones on 'dark and cloudy days.' Many of the photographs published in the text appear to have been obtained with this technique — the image quality is exquisite. . . . He has certainly captured the beauty of his subject — From Slate to Marble is a beautiful piece of work.
. . . an invaluable sourcebook for years to come."