Guide to choose
Three kind of shells can be distinguished for the kind of work for cameos: the “Sardonic”, that generally comes from the Carribean or the Bahamas, with it’s dark brown surface, which makes the engraving neater; the “Cornel” that tend towards red and is prevalently of african origin and finally the “pink Antilles arch shell” the least used because the uncertain colour doesn’t give sufficient relief to the figure.
After choosing the right shells, the first step for the work of the cameo is the cutting of the shell.
This kind of operation requires skill and a ready aptitude to understand the various forms that can be obtained from the uncut piece, when cut in one way rather than another.
It is evident, infact, that a precise relationship exists between the engraving that you want to execute and the selection characteristic of the shell you have available, the relationship that extablishes the cutting areas.