With precious metal prices so high these days one of the techniques that is used to reduce wastage in jewellery making is wax carving. Working in wax can not only reduce metal wastage but it can also enable a level of detail that is often not possible when working straight into metal. Below is an example. The client wanted an unusual design that had tiny twigs as a feature. Our wax carver created the textured twigs & assembled them ready to make a mould:
After the wax has been made a mould is made around it. This is then heated & the wax melts & runs out of the mould. This technique of jewellery casting is known as ‘lost wax’ casting. Now the mould has the negative shape of the item within ready to be filled with molten precious metal. The bee jewellery below was made using just one wax bee. This single mould was then used to make bees in 18ct yellow, white & rose gold:
One of our more unusual commissions was a gentlemen who wanted tiny replicas of his own actual car made into cufflinks! We new this was a job for our wax carver. Working straight into silver would be very tricky whereas wax would give the detail we needed right down to the tiny single windscreen of his Lotus sports car! The astonishing thing about these cufflinks (that is hard to imagine from the photo) is that they are only around 16mm long!
At RING jewellers we find that wax carving can really cut the costs of handmade jewellery. These savings are then passed on to the customer meaning that stunning bespoke jewellery does not have to cost the earth.