Wax carving? Wedding Bands? I don't get it.

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on February 02 2012

Are you playing with candles? What do you mean by "carving wax"? How does wax become a wedding band? I'm confused.
I get this sort of question all the time. I often forget that "my lingo" isn't what "normal" people typically say. So I thought for today's "ask Lisa" I would clarify what it means to CARVE WAX.
What I want to SHOW you is very basic wax carving. Making a simple, round wedding band. Many of my charms and more intricate ring designs are also originally carved in wax, but we can save that style of carving for another day!
Jewelry wax comes in many, many forms. It comes in many sizes and shapes and hardness. The wax I use to make my standard wedding bands is a round center hole tube which looks like this....
tube wax ready to be carved
Then it needs to be measured carefully for the width and marked. These are my "handy dandy" measuring calipers!
measuring the wax
The wax gets "sliced" with a saw or in a cutting box.
wax slices ready for carving
Viola! Now we measure the inside of the opening to see how much wax needs to be removed to get to the proper sized ring. I use this fancy, yet dangerous, tool in my flex shaft to slowly begin the wax removal process. I love this tool, but it also likes to eat my nails and finger tips. Did I mention my hands are not so pretty? :) flex shaft wax carving tool Once I know the inside is the correct size, I begin to remove the wax on the outside to get to the thickness I want for the overall band. This is the fun part, yet challenging! It's a constant checking and measuring. Sometimes it doesn't go well, but I won't bore you with THOSE pictures! and the wax flies Then I use files and sandpaper to smooth the wax to the finish I want. These particular bands will have a hammered finish when they are done. I add that texture AFTER they are cast, so they don't have to be perfectly smooth for casting. wax carved ringsNow these baby's are ready to be cast in sterling silver! Very exciting...well, at least to me! Again, this is completely rudimentary wax carving, but it gives you a small idea of the process. wax fluff And I'm left with this! On my bench, on my apron, in my hair, pretty much everywhere! {le sigh} But at least next time I mention wax carving, you will have a picture of what I'm doing! For those of you that need "moving pictures" here's a tiny look at the process. Now, this is a HUGE "ask Lisa" post. Typically I'll just answer your question, but this one begged for a visual. What do you want to know? What do you wish you could ask me? Leave a comment below, or send me an email at Lisa@lisalehmanndesigns.com - I'd love to answer your burning question! Have a fantastic day...and don't forget... you are so loved! xoxoxox, lisa

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