There are many techniques to make jewelry, and the first one I learned is the lost wax method.
The first step with this technique is to make the design of the piece in wax. This can be done either by building up, assembling or carving out the wax.
My favorite method is carving by using a hard wax especially manufactured for jewelry making. It is the perfect fit for my designs because of their symmetry and clean lines.
I start with a block of wax, mark its lines with a scriber and then start cutting out the excess with a hand saw, a mill, or a lathe. Once I achieve a shape that I am happy with, I continue to carve the details by hand, with files, carving tools, dentist tools, burs on my flex shaft, steel tools that I make myself specifically with the shape I need or anything that I can find around that will help me get the design perfect.
Throughout this process a lot of measuring is needed, down to the tenth of a millimeter because in my designs there is no room for errors. For this I use a digital caliper and a divider. I constantly measure as I carve.
Sometimes my designs require to be made with a few separate components that are attached with a heated wax pen.
If the piece will have a stone set on it, the bezel is carved out as well. The actual stone needs to be used to measure the opening and make sure it fits in it.
Once the shape of my design is close to finished, I continue to sand the surface with sand paper by gradually moving from rough to the finest grid, and then using a piece of silk fabric or stocking with citrus oil make sure the piece is nice and smooth. The piece is then ready to be prepared for casting.
What I like about using the lost wax method is that the possibilities are endless. Because the material is soft, carving it out is easy, allowing the designs to be of any shape or size; they can be very intricate and precise or rough and rustic. Whatever the designer’s vision is can be achieved with skill and patience.
Marquise Drop Earrings (work in process)