Faceting demonstration

by anthonylloydrees on January 31, 2009

I have no problem with having people watch or talk to me when I am cutting and have given a couple of talks to clubs and such. I have even cut in a shop window, so when a gemmologist friend asked me to give a cutting demonstration to his gemmology students, I agreed on the proviso that I could borrow a portable faceting machine as mine is built into my desk and my office is far too small to accomodate a 20 person class.

Although I was given months of notice and fully intended to cut a stone or two on the borrowed machine to get familiar with it, Murphy had other ideas. So as the day got closer fear and trepidation turned to blind panic as I found myself in a rapidly filling classroom sitting in front of a borrowed Facetron faceting machine that I had never operated before with the realisation that my dop wax and transfer block had been left behind in my office.

Luckily I had enlisted the help of a friend to shoot a video of the event and she valiantly offered to go back to the office and retrieved the missing supplies. I cut and polish my tables by hand as the first step in cutting a stone which gave me some time before I needed any dop wax. I was also very relieved to discover the ‘stage fright’ pretty much disappeared about the same time as the stone touched the lap and I got to answer the first questions. I was happy that the Facetron proved so comfortable within a few minutes with the adjustments being nicely intuitive. I used
an Aquamarine and cut a Standard Round Brilliant

I didn’t have any prepared talk as I intended to just explain what I was doing as the various steps progressed and why I was doing them in that order. I was a little fearful of questions as these were gemmology students and they might have hard ones. I was pleasantly relieved to get intelligent curiousity throughout the entire demonstration, with hardly a lull.

I was reminded of break time by a couple of students, as the coffee shop was due to close, but they didn’t want to miss any part of the demonstration. I assured them I wouldn’t answer any questions until everyone got back and all they would miss was this bit going round and round and this thing going up and down.

The class was appreciative and everyone stayed to the end 🙂 I did give the Aqua to the class instructor the next day, incidentally whose only contribution to the evening was to give me the classroom keys, tell me the students don’t bite and leave, raising my anxiety level quite nicely.

The only downside for me in an otherwise very enjoyable experience was the video didn’t work. My friend found my Sony less intuitive than I found the Facetron.

So I don’t know the finished dimensions or weight. The student with the closest guess to these at their next lesson gets to keep the stone. That went over well.




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