2003: Issue #3:
Slate Roof Inscriptions and Designs
is always a memorable experience to drive down a country
road on a beautiful fall day, suddenly round a corner,
and come upon a landmark slate roof. The 1880 barn shown
above sits by itself on a lonely rural road near Brandon,
Vermont. It has silently impressed passers-by for 124 years at the time of this writing (2003)
and is still looking gooda mix of Vermont purple
and unfading green slates.
of the unique characteristics of slate roofs is that they
can be installed in decorative styles using slates of various
colors. These decorative roofs can be inscribed with installation
dates or with words, names, or abstract designs. The "Harmony
Barn" shown below is on the campus of Slippery Rock
University in Pennsylvania at the "Harmony Homestead" (also
known as the Macoskey Center), located on Harmony Road.
The slates are Vermont recycled sea green slates with a
Pennsylvania black design. The black slates were generously
donated by Williams and Sons Slate and Tile of Wind Gap,
PA (phone: 610-863-4161).
easiest procedure to use when installing an inscription
or design on a slate roof is to draw a schematic of the
roof beforehand. Make sure the schematic shows every slate
in its proper proportion. The dimensions of the roof as
well as the size of the slates must be known beforehand
in order to do thisa job made easier by the use of
a computer (although a computer was obviously not available
in the 1800s when many dates were installed on slate roofs).
Once the schematic has been created, the artist can play
around with various designs until he or she has settled
on one that looks good. Then it is only a matter of referring
closely to the schematic during installation while using
slates of contrasting colors in order to make the design
appear on the roof. This doesn't add a lot of time to the
job, but it does create a lifetime landmark roof that can
live long after the craftsmen who installed it have quietly
Barn, Rutland Town, VT (above)
Sample Schematic (below)
Illustration above from the Slate Roof Bible, 3rd Edition
Read an article about Liam Tower's moose inscription roof.
more about roof designs in the Slate
Roof Bible, 3rd edition!
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