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Rain Blanken

How to Make Cameo Jewelry

By July 12, 2010

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I have always been a fan of cameo pendants since my sister and I convened on the floor of our parent's bedroom, secretly rifling through mom's jewelry box. We were treasure hunters, with the simple mission of rubbing our grubby preschool fingers all over her belongings. In hissing tones, we fervently speculated about the value (usually at least a bajillion) of each piece of costume jewelry.
Make a Cameo
Photo by Melodi T

Above all else, I spent my precious childhood attention span staring into the milky profiles of the women who made up mom's small cameo collection. I was under the impression that the mysterious carvings must be a loving tribute to an army of Amazons who once helped my mother survive certain death in the tangled jungles. Clearly, she owed them her life. Or, maybe a romantic tryst with an Italian artist reaped these carvings of my mother -his one and only muse. Then again, it was probably a trio of whimsical Princesses that had bestowed these tokens upon mom after my she safely recovered their missing jewels.

Well, the price tag on the back should have tipped me off. Those cheap resin cameos were wholesale leftovers from the jewelry shop my parents owned on Brown Street in Dayton during the 70's. Regardless of their worth and history, the mystery behind these decorative reliefs remains imprinted on my brain. I still stare in wonder at the women within the frames, wondering if they were ever flesh and blood people, or if they remind me of someone I know.

These days, there are very few shops in my area that sell a healthy variety of cameo styles. So what do we do? That's right, we learn to make them ourselves. Here are a few ways to make cameos that are just as inexpensive and inspiring as my moms own collection.

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