The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Art of stone

Friday, 14 February 2014



Ever heard of Joss Nankoo? No, I hadn’t either. You have now. He’s a stonemason and lettercutter. Here at the GFG we revere lettercutters. And we love lovely human beings. Joss (above) is both. You can see that.

At around twice the price of machine-carved shiny Chinese granite you can buy something bespoke from Joss. You can go to his workshop and choose your stone — a nice piece of Welsh slate, a piece of Portland. You can work with him on the design and have him make something really personal. Unfortunately, this client-craftsman relationship doesn’t yield an awful lot of margin for an undertaker.

Find his website here. Here’s some of his stuff.


8 comments on “Art of stone

  1. Monday 17th February 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Wonderful craft, beautiful materials, nice man, but… (here I go again) 600,000+ people die each year in the UK, globally 55.3 million people die each year – we can’t all have epic gravestones like these, much as we aspire to them. Yes they are much better than the awful run of the mill stuff, but there are just too many humans on the planet for this to continue.

  2. Sunday 16th February 2014 at 4:13 pm

    A point well worth making, Jennifer. In order to protect their margin some FDs go to careful lengths to keep clients away from the mason so that they won’t find out. A lot of craftspeople, who struggle to make a living, and who could be of good service to the bereaved, suffer from being kept at arm’s length.

    I hadn’t realised til I spoke to Joss that black shiny marble has almost run out, and a lot of the stuff being imported has been stained. After 5 years or so it starts to turn grey.

    • Monday 17th February 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Totally true of course, and we have heard some real horror stories about this. However, I suspect it is not the case for most of the FDs who hang around these hallowed halls!
      Generally, we put clients into direct contact with masons and florists and stay out of the financial arrangements.

  3. Sunday 16th February 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Is it worth mentioning here, just for the record, that not every undertaker puts a mark up on memorial stone work?

  4. Richard

    Saturday 15th February 2014 at 10:47 am

    Superb, whether the smooth pebble-shaped, more trad (Ibrahim Hussein) or the distinctively rugged (Robert William Bourne), Joss’s craftsmanship and creative imagination shine forth.

  5. Kathryn Edwards

    Friday 14th February 2014 at 11:27 pm


  6. Lol Owen

    Friday 14th February 2014 at 9:48 pm

    One word: proper.

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