Spring classes are starting soon! Intro to Wax Carving is a fantastic class to get your feet wet in this versatile medium!
You may ask What is Wax Carving?
Well, the art of wax carving dates back all the way to 3500 BCE! Probably even earlier! Ancient civilizations used the beeswax that had been leftover from harvesting honey to sculpt interesting forms, mostly depictions of animals and gods. Today we have many different types of jewelers carving wax, each kind having its own special properties. Carving wax is a wonderful technique for creating jewelry. Intricate details can be created in wax that you can’t achieve in metal. We are essentially making mini-sculptures, using additive and / or subtractive techniques.
In this 6-week class we explore how to build up wax, carve and file it away at it to reveal a design. Wax is extremely forgiving & versatile and can be used to make rings, pendants, bracelets, earrings or any other small object. You’ll start off by making a ring for the first project and then a pendant for the second. Students are encouraged to explore the wax as a medium as well as be challenged as designers by the instructor. You can design, experiment, play, and create with the inexpensive wax until you get your piece just right.
We include a tour of the jewelry district and a complete list of trade references and supplier resources to provide the new student with a full introduction to the jewelry industry. Small class sizes are perfect for both beginners or those looking to refresh their wax carving skills. You don’t need any jewelry knowledge to take this class – absolute beginners welcome!
We have an awesome six week class coming up on Thursday, November 5th for intermediate students: Silver II: Hinged Bracelets, with instructor Brice Garrett.
In this class you’ll learn how to fabricate a cuff, bangle or link bracelet in metal, with opportunities to learn new texturization techniques and brush up on your soldering skills. Excitingly, you’ll also learn how to create movement with your pieces using hinges, and you’ll learn how to create box clasps to ensure proper security and closure within your designs.
We’ve collected some antique jewelry inspiration below to get your design eye going:
Enamel is a form of powdered glass that fuses to another material, sometimes metal at around 1600 F. The ancient Egyptians used enamels to stone objects, pottery and jewelry. In jewelry and other artworks they used enamels vibrant colors to represent a less expensive form of precious gemstones.
This weekend we will be fusing enamel to copper using the heat of acetylene torches. The most common method of fusing enamel is in a kiln (like an oven) which evenly heats your piece the the desired temperature. While using a torch, it’s a great way to see the different stages of enamel fusing to the metal – sugar coating, orange peel, fully fused, and over fire. The different pigments add a great effect to jewelry pieces by adding color and representing moods. Playing around with firing times and using the enamel as a surface pattern can also achieve wonderful textures and depth to your piece.
Sugar coat enemaled pendant by artist Emilie Shapiro, instructor
Sugar coat pendant by artists Emilie Shapiro, instructor
orange peel enameled rings by artists Emilie Shapiro, instructor
overfired enameled cuff by artists Emilie Shapiro, instructor