Cab Contest

Rules and Gudelines

Community input for making the contest better is always welcome!

Welcome to the Rock Tumbling Hobby cabochon making contest where your cabbing skills, creativity, and material will be put to the challenge. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to enter regardless of cabochon making experience, skill level, or machinery and methods. This friendly community contest offers a small prize but is mostly just about having fun and challenging each other to step outside our comfort zones and learn and grow, while dazzling the community with our beautiful rock creations.

Each month the contest features a specific theme as chosen by the winner of a previous contest. See below for a detailed list of rules and guidelines for the contests.

Brand new or cabochon making veteran, please sign up an account on the forum and join in the fun!

RTH Cabochon Contest Rules and Guidelines (rev. 9/09/2022)

Contest Format:
The chosen contest theme serves as the primary criteria for voting. The voting period will occur for approximately seven days around the start of the following month. The winner of the contest will have the opportunity to choose the theme of the contest occurring two months after the contest they won (ie: June winner chooses August theme). At the beginning of the voting period, a voting poll will be added to this thread and all contest submission posts and responses will be hidden from view in order to help insure a level playing field. All original content will be replaced in the thread at the close of voting.

Contest Period:
Each month’s contest is open from approximately the 3rd of the month through the last day of the month at 11:59pm PST

Voting Period:
Approximately Seven days beginning around the first few days of the following month.

Entry Requirements:
Participants are asked to follow the contest theme in the creation of a hand-shaped, jewelry-ready cabochon or set of cabochons. For the purposes of contest consistency, we define a cabochon as a jewelry-ready stone having a visible dome on the front face and a flat backside. Variations on dome heights and girdle styles are permitted and ultimately it’s up to the voters to decide if the contest criteria has been met.

Entry cabochons must be made entirely by the member, by hand on non-automated grinding and polishing equipment, within the contest month. In your entry post please let us know a little bit about the piece including for instance, how you shaped and polished it, or what challenges it presented. Please identify the material if you know what it is or let us know if you don’t. Work-in-progress entry posts are welcome but if the final photos are not added before the conclusion of the contest, the piece can’t be included in the voting.

Alternative materials such as fordite, bowlerite or slag are allowed as long as they are in keeping with the theme (ie: “agate” theme = agate material), and the material is such that it requires lapidary skills to transform it into a cabochon.

Cabochon Alterations:
Entered cabochon photos should not show anything attached to the cabochons in the way of bails or findings or anything else that makes it into a pendant. Drilled or carved areas of the cabochon are allowed if they are functional in nature such as to later have a ring or bail attached, or to be inlaid with another stone later, and not drilled or carved purely for decoration.

Photo Requirements:
Three photos minimum are required including one non-backlit, non-glamourized or filter manipulated photo showing the cabochon directly from the front (if posting more than one front photo please indicate which one you want used). Also include a photo taken at as close to 90 degrees angle as possible showing the side of the cabochon so we can see the shape of the dome and girdle if it exists. The third required photo is of the preform or slab you started from. If you do not have all three of the required photos post what you have and let us know.

Photography Notes:
For size perspective it is helpful to include a photo alongside an object such as a coin or fingers. Until the conclusion of the voting period please do not post on any area of the forum, photos of your contest entry that has been turned into jewelry which includes the stone after it has been set, wrapped, or had any kind of bail attached. Back-lit photos are permitted as extra photos especially when the stone contains interesting features that do not photograph very well, but they will not be used as your front featured photo requirement.

We don’t want the competition to turn into a photo contest but also recognize that it is in your best interest to make sure your front and side photos are as focused, bright, and colorful as possible because these two photos will be cropped and presented in the voting collage. A highly zoomed in front photo is not as desirable as a more zoomed out photo that is well-focused on the stone and allows enough background on all sides for cropping to a square 300px by 300px for inclusion in the voting collage photo. The side photo should should include enough background for cropping to 100px by 300px for the voting collage.

Voting Criteria:
Please judge each entry based on the following while keeping in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the difficulty levels of material vary as do photography skills and equipment. An exceptional example of creativity and skill might not always be flashy and bright, and we owe it to every participant to do our best not to allow it to become a photography contest.

1) How well was the theme challenge of the contest theme met?
2) How well did the shape of the stone meet the general contest requirements, or any special theme-based shape requirements?
3) General appearance, beauty, artistic creativity.
4) Photography – is there a direct and focused front shot and a direct and focused side shot for voting purposes?

If a tie vote occurs, a new voting poll will be launched for the period of one day and will include only the stones that were tied for the lead.

Community Participation and Feedback:
As always on the forum, polite and respectful dialog and encouragement is very welcome in the form of ‘likes’ and comments. Within the framework of the contest, advice or direction from the community is welcome only if the contestant has requested it, otherwise it can unintentionally disparage their contest entry.

Thank you to everyone who participates by entering and or commenting and encouraging others. We sincerely appreciate all the comments and feedback we get and want to continue to improve the contest as we go so keep ’em coming!