I had the pleasure of bumping into Top Notch Faceting (TNF) at the AGTA Gem show in Tucson the other day and had the pleasure of seeing some of his work. Although categorically TNF is a stone cutter, in my mind he is more of a sculptor in which it just so happens that he creates his sculptures by carving shapes and designs out of gemstones. TNF uses a set of custom tools and traditional gem cutting tools as well when creating his master pieces. His creations are filled with decorative cuts that are “visually balanced” although not always symmetrical. His cutting techniques are so renowned that it has won him First place for Innovative faceting at this years AGTA.
A few more examples of his work.
I believe that Jean-Noel Soni is on the correct path with his style and innovation when cutting. He has won this years AGTA award and this won’t be his last for a very long time to come. I wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing some of his pieces on display in galleries and museums across the US and Europe. I have yet to see any one of his beauties set in a piece of jewelry but I think designing a piece that highlights his intricate designs without taking away from the gemstone would be an interesting artistic endeavor. Wouldn’t you agree??