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What You Need To Know About Wax Carving in Jewelry

What You Need To Know About Wax Carving in Jewelry

Most of us have seen a charm bracelet at some point. Each charm has a different intricate design, from a simple circle with a few words to images of the Eiffel Tower. From an outside perspective, it’s easy to wonder how jewelers managed to create such a complex design on such a small surface. But an experienced jeweler will tell you the answer with ease: wax carving.

Whether you’re a new jeweler or just want a refresher course, we’ve collected everything you need to know about wax carving in jewelry to help us appreciate this art form better.

What is Wax Carving for Jewelry?

To create jewelry pieces such as pendants and charms, jewelers don’t typically start with metal. They begin by taking a block of wax and carving out a replica of their pendant design. From there, they’re able to create a cast of the design in the metal of their choice. This makes it simple to create intricate designs that are easily replicable.

Tools for Wax Carving

Without a doubt, carving wax is far easier than carving metal, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require skill, a steady hand, and the right tools. This is especially true when you get to more complex designs like images of animals or landmarks. There are a number of key tools every jeweler who carves wax should include in their arsenal:

  • Detailer
  • Worker tip
  • Filer
  • Burr
  • Picker

Additionally, you may want to have a heat source that you can use to heat the tips of your tools to make carving easier. Otherwise, you can invest in an electric wax carver with a tip that can heat up automatically.

Different Types of Waxes

Wax by Shape

Jewelers can buy wax in a variety of shapes depending on their vision of their final design. The most common shapes for waxes include:

  • Wax blocks
  • Wax sheets
  • Wax tubes
  • Wax wires

Blocks are a common choice for those looking to create charms, while sheets are better for flat pendants. Tubes allow jewelers to create rings, while wires can create more intricate, multi-layered designs for a variety of types of jewelry.

Wax by Color

When you go shopping for waxes, you may notice that there are a variety of colors on the market. This isn’t for merely aesthetic purposes. Different colors signify how hard or flexible the wax is. This will change your experience when you’re trying to work with it.

For instance, green and turquoise wax is known for being much more firm, which is ideal for carving delicate designs. Purple wax has a little more flexibility, while blue wax is the most flexible of all. This is the variety most experts recommend for those just starting out in wax carving.

Ready to put all this must-know information about jewelry wax carving to good use? Visit Cutting Edge Supply for all the wax-carving supplies you need to get started.

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