Faceting the USFG Novice Stone - The Apex
Rather than discussing faceting as a topic in general or specific aspects of faceting without regard for a specific design/cut as we have done in past programs, this program is designed and intended to be specific to a single cutting pattern. There is more to the design of this program. The desire is that the club faceters make an attempt at or start cutting a chosen pattern BEFORE the meeting! In this way, we can come to the meeting with real life questions and dilemmas that we may have encountered when cutting the same stone. I believe that this is a way to aide and better each members cutting experience and quality of their end product, by relying on each other. We will be discussing specific issues and solutions that each faceter encountered while cutting the specific pattern that can be taken back to the studio and applied to their pattern as well as to our general faceting knowledge.
For a project pattern, I chose the 2017 USFG single stone competition pattern, The Apex. The Apex was chosen for several reasons. One, it is a simple uncomplicated stone with a limited number of facets and definite meets. Two, as the USFG novice competition stone, I am in the hopes that the group cutting experience/discussion of the pattern will continue beyond the meeting and prompt our faceting members to become inspired and submit their completed stones to the USFG competition as Keith did last year, and Fred has in the past. Additionally, I hope that hearing and seeing real life faceting taking place and issues being resolved in a group setting will inspire non-faceting members to give Faceting a try. No, not the simple Try-it Try, but to actually cut your first stone! I know, Faceting is not for everyone and I do not intend for it to be presented as such, but if you are in this club it is worth a REAL try. Lookingat the art for the first time faceting is, -- well its sort of scarry! All that Math and sooo precise, how can I ever do it! All of the precision, “apparent” geometry/math involved in the diagrams and foreign terminology often scares potential cutters into not Trying. In reality, most of the math and numbers are already figured out for you. It is called a cutting diagram for a reason. You really just need to be able to match the numbers on the cutting diagram with those on the faceting machine.
I learned faceting without even using the numeric scale, just the long and short lines used to cut a standard round brilliant on a 96 index wheel! No numbers, only had to remember long or short all the way around. Many faceting patterns break down into a very similar repetitive “rhythm” where math does not even need to come into play. The most difficult the math gets is: “The diagram says set the machine at index 8, so just set the index wheel at 8"- whoa!!, there is no 8 on the index wheel so what do I do! Well, first off, you do not panic. You look. There is a 6 and a 12 with 6 notches in-between and a convenient short line at the half point, though unmarked that makes it 9. You easily set the index at 8 by moving it 2 notches past the 6, ! Before the mid-point 9. Easy as can be, and all the math needed to facet. - Really, that is as difficult as the math and geometry gets.