I had tears in my eyes as she opened the package containing the cameo on Christmas Morning, 2017. She was shocked and speechless for several minutes, and finally said, "I didn't know you could still get these!" She absolutely loves it and wears it proudly. When people notice that she is the subject of the cameo, it opens up a whole new opportunity for her to talk about it.
I found Gareth through an internet search, and I'm glad I did! From the beginning, he was very easy to work with and made suggestions to help me get a piece of jewelry she would really like. Once decided, he sent periodic photos to see the progress being made. I kept all the progress photos and showed my wife later, and she was fascinated with the process.
Gareth is indeed an artist, and I appreciate his work and attention to detail. He has created a family heirloom and I recommend him highly!
An amazing story. This cameo took 1 year from the order to when it was delivered. This was because the customer became very ill with Cancer. She asked me to wait, while she had her course of Chemo. I wished her luck and waited. Judi contacted me 6 months later. She had the all clear and I could finish her order.
IT IS BEAUTIFUL-thank you for making my day!!!!! My Daughter Will love IT...We all loved it and I'm really happy I was able to see expression on my daughters face when I gave her this precious gift...Judy, San Francisco
The most fascinating challenge was when I was asked to carve a portrait of a ‘Silent Angel’. This is a name given to children born with Rett Syndrome. A very rare, genetic condition that alters the bone structure of the child and affects mostly girls. I carved the cameo from a white on blue layered Agate gemstone.
The setting is in White Gold. A pink Pearl is set above the portrait. On the side of the setting I engraved “To the best Mommy ever, Love and hugs Maggie.” I also hand engraved the Rett Angel on the back of the setting. This is the logo for the Rett Syndrome society.
Symptoms of Rett syndrome occur, such as slowed head growth, abnormal hand movements, hyperventilating, screaming or crying for no apparent reason, problems with movement and coordination, and a loss of social interaction and communication.
Here is some of our design talk. We had an interesting journey in creating this special cameo Judi.. Portrait photo is of my grand-daughter who has Rett Syndrome, a very rare genetic disorder. She is in a wheelchair, is non verbal and has no use of her hands. I want to give this to my daughter as a gift from my grand-daughter to her mother.
As part of my research, I have just watched the documentary narrated by Julia Roberts, very moving and very interesting. I like the term "Silent Angel", this seems appropriate. I discussed altering her teeth slightly. To make them appear smaller and eliminate the gap between them.
Our discussion is below.
Gareth.. I am often asked to alter teeth. I do may carvings of young children whose teeth are very uneven as they may have lost their baby teeth and have some larger adult teeth showing. Maggie has a lovely look in both photos and for best results her smile should be more subtle. I would love your feedback.
Judi... I like the first photo too-I'm not going to have you alter the teeth as this is what her teeth will always look like because of her condition. I think Michelle would want it authentic. look forward to hearing from you for placement of order thx.
The finished cameo portrait. I wanted to duplicate the original photo. This was not easy. I carved this from a three-layer Agate. A Black top layer, white center, and a black base.
Those gem carvers who have worked with this material will realize that you can’t achieve this effect as the white layer would be visible where the body is shown above the baby. The black of the arm is the original top layer.
Then I carved the baby and hands into the white layer. I then cut a slice of black onyx, shaped to fit and bonded it to the cameo stone. I could then carve the stone to taper above the baby to give a natural look to the body.
The personalized elements are very interesting. The back of the setting has the Chinese character for the ‘rabbit’, the year of his birth.
“Above this is One that breaks out of the door …”
(I’d like you to include the ellipses, to show that it is an incomplete quote. It’s the beginning of a poem that a street poet wrote about our son, which we recite to him every night before he goes to bed.)
The side has ”I Will Always Be Your Baby Boy”.
Thank you so much for the cameo. My wife loves it! I think it took her a moment to realize what it was, but, once she did, she started to tear up.
She wore it on Christmas Day and said, “I love my cameo; I don’t ever want to take it off.” And she has worn it every day since.
From my end, it was a pleasure working with you and watching this creation come to fruition. You are a truly talented artisan. Thank you again. Happy New Year!
We would be happy to allow you to use photos of the cameo and excerpts from my email. Feel free to identify me as “Charles C.”
Just a quick note to let you know I received the pendant! It's beautiful and an incredible likeness! I was impressed and touched - and that's not counting Brian pulling on my pants and shouting "up, mama" repeatedly. :)
I'm looking forward to opening up my impressive Christmas present again tomorrow morning over a leisurely cup of coffee while son and husband bond over pancakes.
Please do call tomorrow when you have a moment and I can thank you again in person...Suzanne. San Jose
My 2 year old son Brian is the love of my life. He's got a great sense of humor with an adorable smile and a twinkle in his eye. I'm looking for the ideal momento of his childhood to keep with me as he grows. Thanks!
A cameo of a beautiful young girl. This become a very meaningful experience for me. This order was completed just before an exhibition of some of the world's finest Antique Cameos was due to open at the Metropolitan Meseum of Fine Art in New York. I was living in Wales at the time and felt that I had to see this.
I flew to New York and stayed for a week. I arranged to meet up with Mark and we spent an afternoon with Mark his wife and his daughter in Central Park. I was able to see for myself how well I captured her likeness.
The cameo arrived a few moments ago. It really is a stunning piece of work. Again, thank you so much! It's going to be really hard to not give this to my wife early. Thank God I only have 3 days to wait. If it were more than that, I would never make it.
I would be honored if you wanted to place a picture of this on your web site. I hope that I'll be able to send more work in your direction as well. Thank you so much again. I look forward to meeting you on Sunday! I have to say that you have done an outstanding job. The cameo is absolutely beautiful. It really is a stunning piece of art.
It was great for us all to meet you in New York on sunday. We hope you were able to see how accurately you sculpted my daughters face into the stone when we visited in Central Park. My wife loves her cameo and our appreciation of your artistry continues to grow. Yours...Mark, New York
Part of our discussion on getting the perfect likeness. Mark had a concern about her right eye, prompted by a progress photo. This was my response.
The area of the upper cheek around her right eye needs to be carved to angle back more. This is what gives the curious look, as it is the uplifting of the eyes and upper face that shows this. This is actually a hard profile to get right. As there is not an overt smile, there is a tendency for her to look sad. So i have to be aware of this, a slight upturn of the mouth will help to avoid this. Also in this profile the main cheek mass is in the lower half of the face, in adults it is the other way around.
When I work I find that I have periods of great clarity when I can see all that needs to be done and will quickly get the features correct. There are other times, when I need to break and come back to the work refreshed, to be able to get in the "zone".
Dear Mark, Thanks for your kind words. Sorry for the delay in replying. I have been very busy since arriving back. I really enjoyed my trip to New York. I spent two days in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. I discovered the upper floor full of great art by Van Goch, Degas, Manet, Monet, Picasso etc. The temple of Dendar wing with it's Egyptian temple is amazing as well.
If you do get the chance to get to Manhattan again before October do check out the Cameo Appearances at the Met exhibition. There are some very fine pieces there. I enjoyed meeting you all in Central Park. It was a good experience to see Genevieve in person. I feel happy that i captured her well in the cameo carving. It has been a pleasure working with you on this project. Thanks, Gareth. Read more at Portrait Cameo of a Two Year old Daughter
There was a family tragedy where a mother lost her son and her own mother on the same day from a tragic drowning accident. This prompted the close friend of the mother to ask me to create a portrait cameo of the young boy.
I designed a cameo locket so that the mother could wear the cameo whenever she wished as the portrait was covered by a gold lid. She could then choose to reveal it to friends or family.
I hand engraved a line from the poem read out at his funeral as an inscription on the back of the gold locket.
My photo shows the locket before the cameo was set inside. I do not show the cameo to protect the privacy of the family.
My wife is really happy with her gift, photos as you say, do not do proper justice to your fine work. We are attending a few post-Christmas functions this weekend and there will be many oohhhs and aahhs! Her Chinese name is Nan, Jun Zhi (Nan being the last name, Jun Zhi. We kept it as her middle name: "Colleen Junzhi"..Matt, California
I engraved "I love mommy and ice cream" on the side of the setting. Imagine when people look closer to examine the cameo. They are going to smile at the message - your wife will like it too !
I am amazed at how fluently you can translate your artistry into words! I am usually challenged at ideas and only actually understand when I see a picture, but with the fluidity of how you translate your mind into words, I can almost touch your creation! I am so pleased already! Thank you! When I see your work, I can only say, “This is only possible because God’s hands are on Gareth’s!” Honored to be your friend...Mary Ann I will look forward to your design. I am excited to show my sisters! Thank you Gareth! I am not only a fan of your creativity, I am also your friend...I love your work. I have had your work in my folder for a long time now. My mother is turning 100 and I like something special my sisters and I will have of her. I like some quotes to send to my sisters so we can all order at the same time! Thank you, Mary Ann.
I can report complete satisfaction with the Cameo and extremely happy with the result. A quality product from a craftsman, Thank you..." by Bill, Doha, Qatar.
This gift was to honor and cherish the memory of a recently departed Grandmother. I was asked to design a Cameo necklace as a gift from a husband to his wife. She had become great friends with 'June'. The cameo is set in a Silver frame with an engraved personal message. I carved this gemstone portrait cameo from a 1940's photograph from when June was young and living in Australia. The photo was old and faded. I had to use my knowledge of portraiture to fill in the missing details of her face.
I gave the cameo to my wife last month as my wedding gift to her. She absolutely loves it, and so has everyone else who has seen it. The piece is absolutely beautiful, and your talent and hard work are evident when looking at it. Thank you again for such an exquisite, lovely jewel. I will certainly turn to you if I ever need another such jewel in the future...Carlyle, South Carolina.
We gave the cameo to my mom last Wednesday and she is still speechless. When she first opened the box she took a huge breath and began to cry. When my father asked her what the gift was she tried to tell him but was overwhelmed with emotions. I am moved to tears on your passion for the work you do. The attention and the importance that you gave to the piece is so overwhelming.
Your talent and customer service goes beyond normal expectations, you literally make us feel as if you are part of the family and have experienced first hand what Papi Viejo meant and continues to mean to us.
As an additional comment, it's unbelievable how you can allow us to carry our beloved Papi Viejo with us to every special event. Seeing him on my moms favorite sweater or suit jacket makes us feel as if he is present. Thank you!! May God bless you, your talent, and your family! Raquel, New York
The finished Cameo caused quite a sensation when it was delivered. The whole family were invited to the gift presentation. There was a very emotional response and there were many happy tears all round. I really love that I could honor their beloved ‘Papi Viejo’ and help to create such a happy occasion.
The Cameo arrived today. She is absolutely beautiful !!! I love it, thank you so much. I will be giving it to my mother tomorrow. The cameo was absolutely beautiful!! My mom cried when she saw it !! Thank you so much for making this Xmas spectacular !!
Thank you! I believe she is coming over from Jamaica when that picture was taken. Pilar, New York
We got the cameo. My wife absolutely loved it. It's very beautifully done, thank you. Well worth the price. By the way, we posted a pic on Facebook and everyone wanted to know who did it. We may end up scaring you up some business! Andrew, Dallas
My husband and I were overcome with joy when we received the beautiful cameo of our darling Bo. Gareth, you captured Bo's alert and impish aspect utterly. He really stands out against the tonal blue in the background.
When I wear the cameo, everyone comments on what a stunning piece it is. We greatly appreciate the workmanship and expertise that went into your creation. What a wonderful heirloom we have....Betsy, California.
A cameo necklace with a portrait of a lovely Maltese dog called 'Bo'. I always enjoy carving pet portraits. I love trying to capture the special character that every pet has. Bo has confident, cheeky look in her portrait photo.
I carved the cameo from a three-layer Layered Agate. Her eyes were carved from black Onyx and inlaid into the white Agate. The setting is 14 kt Yellow Gold, with a 14kt yellow gold Omega necklace chain. See more examples on my Pet Portrait Cameo Jewellery page.
The cameo arrived today, and as many people have probably told you, I am speechless. It is just beautiful and one of the most amazing gifts that I have ever received. I have always loved cameos; but this is beyond description to me.
Thank you for your time and effort that went into creating such a beautiful piece of art. My husband truly comes up with the best gifts. It is definitely a gift I will treasure always. I’ve already received numerous compliments on the cameo...M.C Georgia.
This was a portrait carved onto 18kt yellow gold for a mother in 1999. This was ordered by the grandmother as a present for her daughter. She chose to have a portrait of her grand-daughter. With this portrait, I never met the customer as she was a client of a retail jewellers in Vancouver. I handed the completed portrait jewel to Rhonda Jones, president of Jones the Jewellers.
The next day Rhonda called me to tell me of the reaction. When the customer first saw the portrait pendant she gasped and was silent for over a minute. She then started crying. Rhonda was concerned that something was wrong with the Jewel. However, the customer said that the portrait had perfectly captured the spirit of her grand-daughter as if Gareth had met her.
She was overjoyed with the result. When the lady left the store they said that she was just beaming with a broad smile and floated out of the door. She visited the store many times and became a very loyal customer. This experience taught me that a portrait jewel can have a very powerful emotional impact.
The husband and father of two asked me to make a portrait cameo for his wife. We used a photograph taken on holiday that showed the father with his two boys. The finished cameo was presented to the mother for her birthday.
I heard from her husband that she has worn the cameo pendant every day since then. Later the mother had to undergo an emergency surgery she refused to take off her cameo. The surgeon had to wait until she was anesthetized before he could remove it.
When she recovered from the anesthetic and saw her family. She immediately checked for her cameo and asked to have it back.
I was asked to carve a portrait for an elderly mother and grandmother who was in a hospice. She was battling cancer and I had to complete the cameo pendant quickly. Her son sent me a photo, from 1936 of her as a young woman to use for the portrait. I carved the cameo into a white and red layered agate and we set it in gold. I created a photo-book to go with the cameo. I asked for photos of her taken throughout her life, to create a section which showed her 'life stages'. She was delighted with the cameo pendant and the photo-book.
A few years ago I created two cameo Jewels for a United States marine who was serving in Iraq. The first cameo had portraits of his three children, while the second cameo was a portrait of his wife. I was contacted while he was in Iraq, which meant that sharing photos via email had to be done with the co-operation of the military security service, which was interesting! I delivered the completed cameos to the Marine and his wife while they had leave at a US Army base in the UK.