Gem School 02: Custom Cuts

As a designer, I have been exploring custom cutting because I often envision forms and shapes that differ from what I can find at my usual suppliers.

Most jewellers have a network of gem merchants to buy gems for use in their work. I believe this is a great place to start and it’s important to grow this network in order to expand the options you have when sourcing gems for clients and new designs. However, I have found this limiting as these merchants tend to mostly buy what the market demands, and this is regular, well-known cuts and shapes.

As a designer, I have been exploring custom cutting because I often envision forms and shapes that differ from what I can find at my usual suppliers. This has lead me to new territory where I can fully control the shape of the gem itself and not just have to work a design around an existing gemstone. It’s been hugely rewarding and exciting to work with different cutters and learn from their many years of experience and also try new things.

This is what lead me to exhibit many of these experiments in lapidary in my exhibition of 2016, CHROMA. Since then, I continue to develop these relationships and enjoy the process of working from a rough mineral to create something new and unexpected.

Melanie Katsalidis Ametrine-Balance Neckpiece

Citrine

Melanie Katsalidis Golden Frame Citrine Earrings

Citrine raw gemstones

Melanie Katsalidis Australian Zircon Five Claw Elevate Ring

As a designer, I have been exploring custom cutting because I often envision forms and shapes that differ from what I can find at my usual suppliers.

Most jewellers have a network of gem merchants to buy gems for use in their work. I believe this is a great place to start and it’s important to grow this network in order to expand the options you have when sourcing gems for clients and new designs. However, I have found this limiting as these merchants tend to mostly buy what the market demands, and this is regular, well-known cuts and shapes.

As a designer, I have been exploring custom cutting because I often envision forms and shapes that differ from what I can find at my usual suppliers. This has lead me to new territory where I can fully control the shape of the gem itself and not just have to work a design around an existing gemstone. It’s been hugely rewarding and exciting to work with different cutters and learn from their many years of experience and also try new things.

This is what lead me to exhibit many of these experiments in lapidary in my exhibition of 2016, CHROMA. Since then, I continue to develop these relationships and enjoy the process of working from a rough mineral to create something new and unexpected.

Melanie Katsalidis Ametrine-Balance Neckpiece

Citrine

Melanie Katsalidis Golden Frame Citrine Earrings

Citrine raw gemstones

Melanie Katsalidis Australian Zircon Five Claw Elevate Ring