Are the shell cameos made using by the pantograph?
One of the most common questions that we are asked by customers who refer to our company specializing in the creation of coral and cameo jewelry in Torre Del Greco, little town not far from Naples, is:
"Are the cameos on a shell made by the pantograph?"
Nothing could be more wrong! The shell cameos can not be made either using the pantograph or the new technological devices such as 3D printers. This is due to the particular delicacy and natural conformation of the raw material. The most common shells used for the production of the typical cameos of Torre Del Greco are the Cassis Rufa and the Cassis Madagascarensis. Both shells are distinguished by their different color.
Shells and cameos
The Cassis Rufa has a reddish background and the second one is characterized by a brownish background. The former is commonly known as corneola, while the Cassis Madagascarensis is named sardonyx. Both shells have a rounded shape.
This is the focus of the answer to the primary question: by presenting a round and not flat surface, it is not possible to use automatic tools for their engraving.
The pantograph and 3D printers
The pantograph, as well as 3D printers, aren’t an economical solution for engraving cameos. In particular, using the pantograph would be necessary to set and program the machine for each cameo, reporting the exact curvature of the surface of the shell used.
This practice would greatly lengthen the time required to make a cameo, which proved to be absolutely inexpensive.
Once again, the skills of the cammeist, just like the traditional workmanship of the cameos of Torre Del Greco, is the optimal solution.
This is a further proof of the uniqueness and originality of the cameos on a shell, absolutely impossible to replicate in the same way.