The cutting process: Preforming

■ After the selection is completed and the negotiations are finalized, the next step begins. Our master cutter once again examines each piece, this time marking where to start slicing the crystal in order to remove the cracks and unwanted inclusions.

■ The general shape of the finished piece is delineated. Then the most crucial and risky step begins, this is the point of no return… The rough must be sliced and then ground down on our preform wheel. During this step the shape of the stone appears, the crown and the pavilion are given form--- all by hand and decades of experience.

■ There is no getting back what is removed, the stone can only get smaller. It takes time and concentration, a slight distraction can result in a huge loss if too much is ground away and it can happen in a split second. Take too much off one side and the other sides must then also be reduced accordingly to keep the proper proportions. Take too much off the crown or pavilion and more will have to be removed in order to keep the balance of the stone.

■ Our goal is to free the perfect stone already within the crystal. As Michelangelo said “the sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material”

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