A lapidarist uses the lapidary techniques of cutting, grinding, and polishing to manipulate gems and minerals into works of art. Today most lapidary work is in the cutting and polishing of faceted stones and cabochons.
In general opaque and highly included stones, such as turquoise and jasper, are cut into rounded, smooth shapes called cabochons. Faceting techniques are generally applied to translucent harder stones such as diamonds and sapphires. I started with cabochons, and in the past few years I have begun to facet.
At the age of 15 I got my first job in a turquoise processing plant. There, I learned how to stabilize and cut turquoise cabochons. This experience started me down the path that I am on today.
I still cut stones to set into my metal work, but it has become more of a hobby in recent years. Now, I apply my lapidary skills to my glass work, cutting facets into the round surfaces of marbles and amplifying the vortexs within.