A very unusual cameo of a much loved ‘Imam’. I was asked to carve this portrait on a red Carnelian gemstone. I could not use Gold or Silver to display the cameo. The solution was to drill a small hole in the gem and suspend the cameo on a leather cord.
This was an incredible project. I was asked by a Crown Prince from Dubai, UAE, to create a suite of seven portrait cameos for his family. He sent me three portraits of their Imam. He is very respected by the family and is important to their religious journey.
I selected two of the photographs for the portrait carving. I researched Islamic traditions and the history of design in the Islamic world. Islamic architecture is very rich with complex patterns, repeated often in tile or stonework. Religious doctrine does not allow Gold or Silver to be worn. I used a strong woven cord for the necklet.
I carved two red carnelian agate gemstones with this image. I also made another cameo in a 3 layered black, white, black agate gemstone using very advanced inlay techniques. This is shown in the slideshow below.
I found this project fascinating, it took many months to complete all seven portrait cameos. The carving on each cameo was very detailed. In many ways this was a ‘labor of love’. I feel honored to have been asked to work by the Sheikh on this special project.
This cameo shows the side profile. I carved two red carnelian agate gemstones with this image. I also made another cameo in a 3 layered black, white, black agate gemstone using very advanced inlay techniques.