Did you know that fine jewelry is derived from wax carving? Jewelry artisans have been sculpting jewelry from wax and paraffin for centuries and it’s an important part of the process in which (un)ordinary jewels and metals become a piece of art.
Why is wax carving important?
Before fine jewelry is created, wax model makers and artisans transform a simple block of wax into a model in the exact likeness. The artisans are carving and shaping often with the most basic equipment such as small blades, files to whittle their imagination out of a block of wax. Precise work and dexterous hands can make it into an incredible piece.
With wax carving, creators can manufacture nearly perfect jewelry designs before they ever touch the metal or jewels. It is an even less expensive way to create one complex design that would be difficult to form with traditional forging and fabrication techniques. Wax model can also be used more times to cast multiple pieces and be a step towards more effective production process.
Wax carving makes the final work process much easier. Artisans can create unique textures and designs and incredible models of rings, pendants, earrings, bangles, etc.
It is very useful when a customer is looking for something special or has a specific idea about a piece of jewelry. Artisans create a customized example with a specific type and style. They can easily and inexpensively carve and build any piece you can ever imagine and then use that piece to create a mold.
The lost-wax process and transformation into gold
After the fine jewel is made, the created wax sculpture will be lost and never to be seen again. Many people even don’t know it is part of the process that fine jewelry is derived from wax.
After the creation, the sculptor’s wax carving is embedded in a metal flask and filled with plaster-like investment, left to harden and in the end, the wax is burned away at extreme temperatures. The plaster will have a hollow impression of the wax carving that will be transformed into gold or platinum through the jewelry casting process.
The roughcast item will undergo jewelry polishing and the various stages of jewelry fabrication before the final stone setting is done to showcase the artist’s original design. But we will tell you about that some other time.