Sunday, 17 August 2014

Wax carving for making jewellery

Getting ready to start filing my wax ring
Wax carving is quite a traditional way of making jewellery. You start with a lump of wax (you can get them in different shapes including for rings as in the photo here). You use files and sanding to take away wax to reveal your design. You then take your wax pieces to a caster to be cast in metal.

I'd never tried wax carving and was intrigued by it as a method so I attended the beginners wax carving class at the London Jewellery School.
We started out be looking at some samples of what can be done in wax. We then did some sketching to design our pieces. I chose to make a ring as I rarely make rings! Once we had our basic design we choose our wax (they come in one ring size so you have to file it to adjust the sizing). Then we spent a LOT of time sawing and filing!

My ring in wax ready for casting
In fact, I hadn't finished my filing and sanding by the end of the class! I had to finish it off at home. I hollowed out the top of the ring a bit with a pendant drill or it was going to be a very heavy (and expensive!) ring.

I found this way of working quite a challenge to start with. With any other jewellery making I do I add rather than take away. It's a very different kind of mindset to imagine how you want it. You can add wax by heating a bit and melting it on top but the general way of working with wax is to remove.

My wax ring is being cast in sterling silver and has been taken to Just Castings in London. I'm really looking forward to seeing it! Although there will still be some finishing to do. I'll blog again when I have it back!

You can attend classes in wax carving at the London Jewellery School
Beginners wax carving
Intermediate wax carving

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