In order to do justice to any commission it is not possible for an artist/craftsman to give a realistic estimate at the outset without receiving relevant information regarding wording, decorative elements (if appropriate), material, location, accessibility and any other relevant needs or requirements.
Normally the work is first discussed over the phone and depending on the nature of the work and the deadline (if appropriate) it may be possible to proceed with the work via email, fax or by mail. But in the case of headstones or any other personal and sensitive work, or any work that needs more detailed discussion, then it is much more beneficial to arrange a meeting at my studio to discuss the individual needs in full over a cup of tea or lunch if more time is needed. If that is not possible I would be more than happy to travel to any part of the country.
The benefit of coming to my studio is that I can show different papers and vellum, if the work required is calligraphic in nature, as well as being able to see and compare different writing styles and possible layouts, or to see samples of different slates and stones if it is a headstone or plaque. Another advantage in meeting is that it gives me the opportunity to sketch possible initial designs with your input to make sure that I am going in the right direction.
It is always an advantage to see finished work to appreciate the quality of the craftsmanship.