April 15, 2020

Creating wax carving designs with Vanilla Ink

Playtime at the benchLife’s a bit upside down for us all right now and whilst I can’t work I am trying my best to carve out some me time in more ways than one.

During the Coronavirus lockdown here in the UK the wonderful Vanilla Ink Studios have been setting some great tasks for the jeweller community to follow along with and create our own wax carving designs, try out some new skills and share their wax carving techniques.

Whilst I am unable to work, and my shops are closed I have been taking part and I am really enjoying them. I have struggled to join in live because I have an energetic 1 year old to keep under control during the day, but I am catching up when she sleeps and absolutely loving some bench time! I am currently on furlough so not working and desperately missing it, so it is really nice to have an excuse to get in my workshop and do something for me and not a real customer. Its amazing how consuming learning a new skill is and wonderful for my mental health right now.

Wax carved ring

First up this week I made a flat wedding band carved out of wax, looks simple but very tricky to make perfectly to size. Check out more over on my instagram.

Every week Scott from Vanilla Ink is setting us a brief and we have a week to design and create a model to ‘present’ to the customer.

The brief

I was really excited when I saw the brief this week, it's right up my street! I love Art Deco and geometric shapes and have recently been trying to teach myself wax carving by doing some triangular geometric shapes. I actually received some of my casting back just before the lockdown, but I resisted the temptation to cheat and use those, so got my sketch book out and started doodling.

Wax Carving Designs

Wax carving designs

Vanilla Ink has a great following on social media and have been sharing lots of fellow jewellers work in progress shots for the week. Honestly there is nothing I love more than snooping on other jeweller’s work benches and seeing their ideas and work develop. But as we are all working to the same brief, I found I struggled to then not sketch out the same things I had just seen, so I think next week I will try and not look until I have my ideas down on paper.

The pieces I have been making before were single shapes with the facets always sloping off to the edge so much easier to visualise when you have a flat piece of wax at the start, so I decided I would push myself and try and do some peaks and troughs in the centre of the piece this time to improve my wax carving techniques.

I found it hard to get going but I am pretty proud of how it turned out!

Wax carved jewellerywax carvingmarking out the designart deco wax carvingwax carving geometric shapeswax carving jewelleryThe finished wax carving

I usually make quite delicate smallish pieces so when I saw the customer wanted chunky, I decided to push myself to go bigger, I probably could have done bigger but I can see me developing this design further into my collection when I am back to it properly, so I am pretty pleased about that.

If you would like to see more of these briefs and what I make, please comment or like so I know it is interesting to you. And if like me you like a good nosey check out Vanilla Ink to see more of the talented jewellers taking part.

I'm definitely going to be using these new techniques in future jewellery collections, so sign up to my newsletter to be the first to see my new launches!

- Laura