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The Art of Wax Carving

Updated: Mar 25

I’ve just announced a brand new class – Beginners Wax Carving which is a fantastic was to start making jewellery.

I have run this class for a couple of my groups now and it always gets some funny looks when I suggest it, with the number one question - how are we going to make actual jewellery from WAX?

Don’t be expecting to turn your best candles into a ring any time soon but read on to learn more about this technique.

Wax carving is actually an ancient wax of making jewellery, going back thousands of years. You start with a chunk of wax, I use a blue modelling wax and carve a design into it, like a sculptor. The best thing about wax is at this stage you can be quite experimental. You can be very precise and carve beautifully intricate designs or you can gouge out areas, file away sections and melt parts of it and see what happens. The wax lends itself well to organic designs that might be a bit tricky or wasteful to create in sheet metal or wire.

Fave tools

Another great plus for wax is you don’t need a lot of expensive tools. My favourites to use are a scalpel, a candle and a chunky file. You can use dentist tools (there is a surprising amount of cross over between dentist and jewellery tools) old drill bits, sandpaper, even an old pair of tights!

How does it become jewellery?

Once you’ve finished playing with the wax, then it needs to be magicked into metal. Some designs are suitable for casting at home if you’ve got the kit, using a big torch to melt the metal and a special sand to create a mould. I send mine off to a professional casters, they create a mould using plaster and then melt out the wax. Molten metal is then poured into this mould and you are left with the perfect replica of your wax piece – the detail that it picks up is incredible (something to keep in mind when finishing your piece, any rough bits will be captured!)

There is some final finishing to do once it has been cast – you are normally left with a sprue, where the metal is poured into the mould, which will need removing. Some casters offer this as a service but it’s easy enough to do yourself with a saw for the excess and then a file to clean up. Your piece will then need polishing and then it’s ready to wear! If you are coming to a class, I'll be doing this final bit when it comes back from the casters and then sending it on to you. You won't get that instant gratification of wearing your jewellery as soon as you've finished the workshop but the anticipation will be worth it!

Would you like to have a go at this amazing technique? It’s a wonderful way to get creative and create something truly unique. I run Wax Carving classes throughout the year, click the button below to see my upcoming classes.

What have previous students made?

More Inspiration

Check out my Pinterest board full of wax carving examples!

if you've enjoyed reading this and would like more jewellery behind the scenes straight to your inbox, plus exclusive perks like 10% off your first order and early access to my classes, do sign up for my mailing list.

A jewellery making class is a great way to spend a creative few hours and you'll be able to walk away showing off your new creations. A great activity for a mother-daughter day, a hen-do or just a bit of me time. Think this would be a great gift? You can purchase a gift voucher to be used for a class - great if you don't want to commit your friend to a specific date but want to gift an experience, find them here

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