After our tour of Pompeii we visited one of the oldest cameo factories in Naples. Cameos are hand carved from the shells of conches and other unique sea shells. The thin outer layer is filed down leaving a white layer upon which the designs are carved. Once it is completed, the unwanted white layer is carved away leaving the inner layer of colored shell as a background to the carved design. It takes years to learn the trade and the prices vary depending on the quality and how intricate the design.
"Cameo Maker's Tools" © Kathy Dunham 2009