the preforming begins
preforming pink tourmaline; at this stage, it resembled
cloudy pink candy cubes.
examining the pre-faceted stone
attaching it to the index
the wheel and the water
part of the faceting and polishing machine
faceting the stone
I asked one of the lapidary artisans to share some of his thoughts on cutting. He shrugged and struggled with words for a few seconds, and eventually said "I don't know. I just do it." When I pressed him further, he added "I choose the rough, I pre-form it, I facet it, I polish it." And then, I saw him action, and I understood why words seemed so inadequate. It was close to magic, all 45 minutes of it, and it was just for one single three carat stone.
I wished I had filmed him, but I have the next best thing, which is a series of black and white photographs.