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I was born in a family devoted to this ancient art for 5 generations, and taught myself to hand carve cameos when I was about 16 years old, in my father’s workshop, by the footstep of Mount Vesuvio in the Bay of Naples. I remember being fascinated by my Mom’s designs and trying to learn from her. My mom, Marisa, had introduced for the first time the concept of a “designer” of Cameos: She would actually draw on the shell, with a pencil, the silhouettes of romantic women; then, our carvers would follow that pattern, turning the drawing into a beautiful and modern Cameo. That artistic transformation always seemed magical to me, to the point that I started to design Cameos myself, to be carved by all the best masters.
Almost everyone in the world knows about Cameos, and can relate the word, generally, to the piece of jewelry featuring the popular lady face. Very few people, though, know exactly what is a Cameo and what it is made of. Sometimes, when asked, I find very difficult to give a detailed answer to the question, without going into boring technicalities. So the best answer I could come up with, detailed and visual at the same time, is this: A Cameo is a hand carving on a 2 layer genuine material.
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