Free-Form Designer Cabochons (Cabs)

Free-Form Designer Cabochons (Cabs)

Pictured above is a free form designer cabochon, or cab, from ‘The Carver’.

Free-form means that I have shaped and polished the pictured stone to maximize its natural beauty. The stone is not cut and polished to a specific shape–oval, square or round–or to a specific size.

Most cabs are of a uniform shape (oval or round and sometimes rectangular or square) and usually these are cut to a size predetermined to fit easily and exactly into a mass-produced stock jewelry setting for a ring, bracelet, pendant, belt buckle, or whatever.  These stock settings are machine made, inexpensive, and widely used to make jewelry designed to take a single specifically shaped and sized cab.

The free-form designer cab is a stone cut without a specific standardized shape or size and it requires a metal setting, usually silver or gold, that is individually designed and constructed to fit the specific size and shape of the free-form stone.  This is why these type of stones are called designer cabs.  Creating and then constructing a setting designed to fit a free-form cab is time- consuming and is one reason free-form designer jewelry is usually much more expensive than jewelry in mass produced settings.

Free-form stones in custom settings are typically one of a kind.

Why do I make free-form stones rather than calibrated stones for mass produced settings?  For me, it is about capturing the maximum beauty or uniqueness of a particular stone.  Because ‘The Carver’ contains such a diverse stock of unique stones, I am more inclined to make a unique or unusual stone than one that is only pretty.  The coloration, patterns, and neat, cool-looking features in a stone will determine both the size and shape of the final stone.  Forcing a particular shape onto a uniquely patterned stone might destroy the uniqueness of the stone or the opportunity to highlight the pattern.

Cutting a free-form designer stone is about artistic selection, imagination, and knowing how to ‘tease’ the maximum beauty and uniqueness from a rough stone.  When first cutting a rough stone, I often have no idea what colors, patterns or unique characteristics might appear.  Once cut, I look for those features and then shape the stone to highlight those features, whatever they may be.   If you look closely at my bracelet gallery, you will see that each bracelet has a different type of stone, color, size, and shape, and each has a sterling silver setting designed for the individual stone.

Free-form designer jewelry may be more expensive, but each creation is truly a ONE OF A KIND piece of art–beautiful and unique.

Stay tuned for the sale of some of these cabochons in the near future!


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