Hello! My name is James Langdon and I will be giving the tuition. I have been a self employed gemcutter for the past 11 years and have sold gems to gem dealers and jewellers in Hatton Garden as well as internationally through instagram. I cut cabochons, faceted gems and concave cut gems too. This short course covers the knowledge needed to cut cabochons with an introduction to faceting as a cabochon needs a single, mirror finish facet on the back to complete it.
When you arrive we'll select the rough stone you will cut. A quartz (amethyst or citrine) will be provided but you will be given the opportunity to purchase a different type of stone to cut (currently peridot, pink tourmaline or oregon sunstone) if you so desire.
Your rough will then be glued onto a cabochon dop. While the glue cures, there will be an approximately 30 minute demonstration of how to cut the crown (top) of a cabochon to a perfectly smooth mirror finish: there will be a few opportunities where you can have a little practice on my stone. Once my stone's crown is finished, using a transfer jig a faceting dop is glued to the crown.
Then.... you cut your first cabochon crown under my supervision. Once we're both happy with the curves and mirror finish your stone gets a faceting dop glued onto it.
While the glue on your stone cures there is a 30 minute demonstration on how to facet the single mirror finish facet on the back of the stone using an Imahashi faceting machine. Again, there will be a few opportunities where you can have a bit of practice on my stone.
Then..... you facet the single facet under my supervision. That's very easy to type, but a bit tricky to do!
After your gem is finished it needs to be soaked in a solution to dissolve the glue. This can take up to 24 hours so your gem will be ready to collect the next day, or, if that's not convenient it can be posted to you by Royal Mail special delivery at no extra charge.
Please be aware that the stairs to the toilet are very steep and not suitable for anyone with any difficulty walking.
This course is suitable for someone with no experience in gemcutting. I can teach most afternoons and evenings, please enquire for availability.
My workshop is close to Lewes Road in Brighton and there are several bus routes available which use that road. The closest bus stop is St. Paul's street which is a 3 minute walk away.
The tuition runs for approximately three hours but I'm quite happy to extend the time available until the cabochon has been properly finished.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
One piece of facet grade amethyst or citrine.
Water, tea or coffee, biscuits.
Postage of your cabochon to you by Royal Mail special delivery (if needed).
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James is a very patient teacher, who demonstrates and explains each step. I enjoyed learning how to cut and polish a cabuchon amethyst. I am thinking about faceting lessons with James now.... Watch this space!
I was a complete novice and I am not really technically minded at all (for example, I did not know what a Dremel was!), but James was very patient and he explained everything very thoroughly. I came away with a good understanding of what equipment I would need and how I would go about producing a cabuchon. I was also pleased to learn that the cabuchon which I had produced would be posted to me.
Had a really great time with James, he is a fantastic teacher and very knowledgeable about the craft. As someone with no lapidary experience whatsoever I learned a lot from my first session in a very chilled out environment. This course gives you the opportunity to get hands on in such a niche field, and at the end of the process you get a lovely cabochon to take home! Can't recommend enough.
What an amazing experience. James is such a laid back and generous teacher. I learnt an incredible amount in the afternoon I spent with him and he then made himself available the following day so that the gem could be soaked off and I could return and collect it at leisure.
I would totally recommend this workshop for anyone with zero skills or more as there is just so much to learn and it's a really chilled experience.