The Cameo comes from the shell of the shell which, already in the first phase of production, is processed by a craftsman who cuts the upper part, creating what the sector’s operators call “The cup of the shell”. The upper part is designed by another craftsman who, by demarcating the individual pieces with a black felt-tip pen, decides which of these must then be used for processing.
The shells, well defined, are then given to an expert cutter who sharpens the pieces using a very sharp rotating instrument. At this point, each piece of the shell is carefully polished and polished by a rotating brush.
The next step is to place each piece on a wooden stick, spreading a special glue at a certain temperature on both sides of the stick.
In the last phase of production the artist can first draw and then engrave with a particular tool, better known as “Bulino”, classical profiles, biblical or mythological scenes, reproducing sculptures of low relief in miniature, thus giving life to the Cameo.
Frames for cameos are strictly hand made carving any single gold foil. For this purpose, the precious metal (gold or silver) is first cast and then laminated in a different thickness.
Later on the precious metal, carefully shaped, is modeled in order to find out a perfect location for each cameo. This is a very compelling and delicate process which requires about six or seven years apprenticeship. In fact, during this period, the trainees are taught about the composition of the raw materials’ chemical elements and the way how to create several frames’ styles. Mountings are hand-fashioned to meet the custom specifications of each cameo.
The manufacture is indeed craftmade and the gold or silver mountings for cameos consist in the creation of handmade gold or silver-objects based on original free-hand drawings, which combine the sheer beauty of the gold to our goldsmithes’ highest craftsmanship.