As you may remember, if you are a regular reader of this little blog, my Flora Metallica necklace recently won 2nd place in the annual London Jewellery School student competition. My prize came in the form of a gift voucher for their jewellery making classes, and after scouring their website, I managed to decide on taking their beginner's wax carving course.
So last Saturday I presented myself at their Hatton Garden studio at 10am sharp, ready to learn a completely new jewellery making skill. Our tutor for the day, the lovely and talented Sima Vaziry, introduced us to the medium of wax, demonstrating how to start on carving out a basic ring shape - making it look very easy! Although I would have loved to try something more complicated, I instead settled on creating a simple 'domed' shape ring; sawing, filing and smoothing away for several hours. It is quite therapeutic once you have gotten the basic shape to sit and file and smooth the wax - I can imagine doing this whilst half watching TV of an evening! We also learned how to hollow out the inside of our rings with a pendant motor (I now really want one of these - not sure if my boyfriend would appreciate the noise though!), very important if you don't want to end up with a really heavy (and expensive) ring when cast. Here's a photo of my ring...it's not a great pic, my camera seemed to be refusing to take photographs on macro because it was too sunny!
After a much needed lunch (concentrating hard really works up an appetite!), we learned various different techniques for adding decoration and embellishment. We were using heat from a simple tea light candle - I say simple, but when you have never smoked in your life, a cigarette lighter is like an alien creature, and so I had to embarrassingly ask for help to light my candle! Candle lit, I was able to play around with adding textures to the wax, and used this to create a teardrop pendant.
Six hours of workshop time flew by, but it was very worthwhile and I'd now feel confident to continue working on my wax carving skills at home. All I need now is to buy some wax and a few tools - good job I have a birthday coming up soon! I'll be sure to post photos of my creations from this workshop once I have had them cast into silver too.