Back in the day, before there were 3D printers, ring molds were made the old fashion way. Yes, we’re talking about hand carved. Instead of spending a few simple hours designing and growing a ring, hand carving took several hours, even a day or two in some cases, to create the masterpiece a customer was after.
Now with the introduction of 3D printers, there are so many different options to choose from: resins without wax, resins with wax, etc. However, if you’re sticking to your roots with the more traditional hand carving approach, there are 3 basic waxes to choose from:
• Green, which is hard and used to make things like bezels
• Blue, which is medium and used like an every day wax
• Red, which is soft and was later replaced by purple, is used to make things like bracelets or necklaces
There are some great tools as well like: wax pens (think similarly to flowing solder) and wax guns used to create the more unusual free form designs. Through the use of these, we are now able to build up wax to create prongs that weren’t there, but are now possible. And there’s repair wax, which is a very soft wax used to work on voids, under prongs, and on small repairs and tacky wax which is used to support stones.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The craft of hand carving wax to create beautiful pieces of jewelry will be practiced for years to come.
Do you practice hand-carving wax? Have some thoughts about it? We’d love to hear from you.