What is a cameo?

   Certain small carvings are called cameos. Cameos are used in rings and brooches. They were very popular for many centuries, but they are not so popular now.
   To make a cameo, a sculptor must have a stone or shell with two layers of different colors. One must be light, the other dark. He carves figures in the light layer. Then he cuts away all the rest of that layer. The light carving now stands out against the darker background.
   In earlier times similar carvings were used to decorate vases, bowls, and even furniture. The first cameos we know about were made in Greece over 2,000 years ago.