Starting with a Sardonyx Shell a small piece is cut out of the top of the shell. Notice the out side of the shell is white while the inside is dark brown.  A ruff sketch is draw on the shell of the design of your cameo. Then using a special wax the cameo is glued on to a stick to start the carving process.

Once the shell is glued to the stick with wax, the carving process starts.  Using chisels called " bulini" you start to remove the white color until the brown contrasting back ground appears.  Great time and detail is given to the design you have sketched.  Once the carving is finished you can use a fine grinding bit to add some extra details, but most of the work is done with the "Bulini" or chisels.

Here is a layout of the progression of the Cameo from start to the finished Carving.  These re the Old World traditional Italian carving techniques, used in Italy for centuries!