Dr. Giovanna Fregni's was awareded the Colonial Williamsburg EXARC Fellowship in 2019, however due to the pandemic could only start the fellowship in April this year.
(The fellowship in 2020/2021 was also postponed because of Corona).
Giovanna is an archaeologist and was previously employed as a gem cutter and jewellery designer. Part of her fellowship tasks was to construct a simple lapidary machine to polish and cut gems, using materials and equipment available during the American Colonial period as well as researching "how it would have been done, especially without the use of modern polishing compounds."
"Post courtesy of Dr. Peter Inker, director of the Department of Historical Research and Digital History: Dr. Giovanna Fregni was awarded a fellowship in partnership with EXARC to study lapidary (germ cutting) in Colonial America. Incredibly, her month-long fellowship is now ending. Dr. Fregni spent the month at Colonial Williamsburg researching at the Rockefeller Library and working with our Trades department to build a period lapidary machine. She is currently interpreting her findings in costume at the Barbershop."
During Pascale's visit to Colonial Williamsburg, she took the opportunity to meet up with Giovanna herself and have a look at her work. Just last week Giovanna finished her first stone: "a small amethyst polished with Tripoli/Rottenstone and tin oxide."
The application for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation EXARC Fellowship 2022 is open! The application deadline is 31 May 2022. More information about the fellowship can be found here.