The Wax Carving and Casting Workshop is an intensive two-day jewellery making course during which students will learn about the process of lost wax casting and experiment with a variety of wax working techniques. Students will make two wax rings (or another piece after discussion with the tutor). Students will be guided through a technical project as well as an experimental project.
Best of all, the course allows for plenty of time to experimentation – and with tips and tricks from a professional jeweller. Our aim is to provide you with the skills and techniques you need to continue to develop your practice at home.
Lost wax carving is a traditional technique used in jewellery making and sculpture. A model is carved or shaped in wax and is then cast. To do this the wax model is ‘sprued’ to a wax tree, put into a special container and then filled with investment plaster. Once dry the investment plaster containing the wax model is put in a kiln, and the waxes are ‘burnt out’, leaving the space in the plaster where the model used to be. Molten melted is then injected into the space at high pressure and then allowed to cool. The plaster is then broken up to reveal the metal piece, which will then be cleaned and finished.
Students will learn how to carve jewellery wax to make a ring to size. Students will learn to how to measure, mark up and make a carved wax ring. Students will learn technical terms, tools used and what they do. They will gain a good base understanding of tools and materials needed to continue working with wax. The techniques learnt here are ones that can be used at home to make wax models for jewellery.
Students will be introduced to other types of waxes including mouldable wax and sheet wax. Students can make a ring using these processes or a second carved wax piece.
The tutor will demonstrate how to prepare a wax model for stones and there will be time for interested students to include a sparkly stone or two into thewax ring (please note not all stones are suitable for casting – we provide some that can be safely cast)
On day two, students will receive their cast ring (or possibly 2) back from the casters and will spend the morning cutting off the metal sprue and filing and finishing their metal piece.
We take the waxes to our casters to be cast and you can choose from a variety of metals (eg sterling silver, brass, bronze etc) The cost of your ring depends on it’s weight and the cost of the metal you choose on the day its cast. Students usually spend between $30 and $70 on casting, but this is dependent on how chunky it is and what metal is selected.
THE SECOND STAGE
Once the rings are cast, they come back to the students for sprue removal, filing and finishing.
AND FINALLY, THE FINISHED RINGS
In week two students work on their cast rings until they're finished.
Diane Appleby is a very experienced contemporary jeweller and tutor. She completed her Master of Art in Gold and Silversmithing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2003. She has taught in the Jewellery and Object Design Department, Sydney Institute of Technology, Design Centre Enmore, and at the College of Fine Art, University of NSW.
Diane’s catalogue of work encompasses collections for exhibition and collaborations with clients on individual pieces.
Diane teaches the Atelier course as well as the Stone Setting course at SquarePeg Studios.
How to carve wax and make a ring/s. Absolutely loved it! Best teacher ever
The wax carving course was excellent. There was a class of eight and the instructor,Diane clearly explained the process and allowed everyone to work at their own pace while encouraging them along the way. I would recommend the overall experience. The rings we made were all different and very beautiful designs.
Professional and thorough. All students finished at least two items to a high standard; and came away with skills that could be applied in a home setting. Highly recommended.