The UKFCG was set up in August 1994 by 10 faceting enthusiasts who wanted to communicate with other faceters in order to improve skills by exchanging ideas and techniques. Membership of the guild currently stands at about 125 persons. Since that initial meeting in 1994 the Guild has made considerable progress towards its goals. The Guild does not have any meetings, except the Annual General Meeting which has been customarily held in Harrogate each August, as members are very widely scattered geographically.
The Guild currently produces four magazines each year but annual pages number 144 i.e. same as when we had 6 issues (6×24). Members are invited to contribute articles. The librarian also holds a number of books and videos on faceting and related subjects for loan to members.
Each year a members’ faceting competition is held, with sections for various skill levels. The competition stones are judged by internationally qualified judges, and the stones are subsequently displayed at various Gem and Mineral shows throughout the country, before being returned to their owners.
For those members who do not wish to compete in competitions, but do wish to know, from an objective source, how they are progressing, the Guild provides an assessment program where stones may be cut and assessed in exactly the same manner as the competition stones, including full anonymity. An assessment report, with helpful tips on how to improve, is returned to the cutter with the stone. In this way the member may check his or her progress without getting into competitive mode.
As part of the educational objective the Guild demonstrates at a number of Gem and Mineral shows during the year normally having two machines demonstrating. Visitors are invited to use the machines and to enjoy an experience which will dispel some of the mystique surrounding the activity of faceting. It can be shown to be a fairly straightforward operation to cut and polish a stone and well within the capability of most people. The demonstration includes a display of high quality stones cut by members.
Objectives of the Guild
- To promote, within the United Kingdom, by means of communication, education and competition, the art and craft of facet cutting and the study of materials and techniques used for the purpose of facet cutting. Also to encourage interaction and communication with other like-minded associations, world-wide.
- To organise education in the form of exhibitions, seminars, classes, access to literature, videos etc. to improve the understanding and awareness of faceting in the U.K., as required and as resources permit.
- To organise competitions in the craft of facet cutting and related fields.
- To encourage regional branches, where a sufficient number of facet cutters reside within a regional area.
- To promote the proper utilisation of British gemstone resources.
- The Guild shall be non profit making. All income in excess of expenditure shall be used to promote the art/craft of facet cutting in the UK.