Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, Glyptician: Miniature Pig Carved in Jade

Jade pig and lapis lazuli: 6.3 cm


The Art of Glyptics


It is the art of sculpture and / or engraving on fine stones or hard stones. We are in direct confrontation with the material. We create the work as we go. The sculptor artist works in direct carving. The final piece can be associated with a work of fine arts. Fine stones and hard stones are worked by wear using an iron, bronze, copper or even wood support and an abrasive. Today the abrasives used are often diamond powders. These powders are calibrated according to the desired result. We use a grain more or less fine, more or less coarse depending on the smooth or polish that we want to obtain. The bulk of the sculpture will be done using diamond tools.

It should be noted that the know-how of glyptics is recognized in France by its inclusion in the inventory of intangible cultural heritage.


Arts and Crafts : Glyptician art craftsman, glyptic art,


By affinity, the Workshop will tend to favor projects that require figurative work: the plant and animal world. I am traveling to present you the roughs that we could use for your project.


The Lithotheque, an essential tool


Regarding the choice of stones, the house has a large lithotheque: Chalcedony, agates, opals, vitrified woods, etc. This lithotheque is the fruit of a long search for particular stones, inspiring, by their materials and their shapes. We will find them at the large Tucson mineral fair for example (Tucson Gem and Mineral Show) in the United States or at the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines mineral fair. The Art of Glyptician will be to seek in the raw material chosen the right color, the right veins but also sometimes the dichroism for certain more precious stones such as morganite, aquamarine or even rubellite.

We can cite three main families in our library:

- Mineral materials: This includes all gemstones, precious, fine and ornamental stones

- Organic materials: We will find in this family: ivory, coral, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell

- Plant materials: Even if we move away from glyptics here for certain projects, we will use precious and exotic woods 


The lithotheque of your glyptician craftsman. Arts and Crafts


The main stages of the art of glyptics


- The Order: generally these are special orders. A collector, an amateur or a representative of a large house presents himself with a precise idea of the piece he wishes to have made.

- The Drawing: realization of an illustrated study of drawings of the pattern to be executed

- The choice of material: selection of stones compatible with the desired final rendering

- The model: production of a wax model of the final pattern

- Realization of the work: we first cut off the chosen stone. This step is essential to reveal the full potential of the stone. We then move on to the work of sculpture. Finally begins the long work of finishing and polishing.