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Rendering and Wax carving charges

Hi All:

Does anyone have a feel for what reasonable and customary
charges are for rendering and wax carving of custom jewelry
designs? If so, please let me know. Thanks in advance.


That would be very interesting to find out how others do the
process - charge by the hour, job, or just what. I have even
heard of charging by the Dwt of finished jewelry. Ron

Hi Keith,

Not a seasoned professional, but the only time I’ve heard of a
job being charged by weight was casting services, not design or
carving. To be honest, I’ve never paid, nor been paid strictly
for wax work.

The caster to whom I subcontract work charges me by the gram of
tumble-finished product for sterling silver casting.



Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Keith, I do some wax carving for a couple of clients. I haven’t
done any rendering; other than the stick art type :). As a
general rule, I usually try to get 30.00 an hour for wax carving.
On average, most ring designs fetch about 50.00. Most pendant
designs fetch about 30.00. If the design is very complicated (
i.e. curved channels etc.), then I charge more depending on how
long it takes. Usually I end up casting the piece for the
customer as well, because if they mess it up in the cast, then
they have to pay for another model.


When I was doing free-lance model making, I used to give a price
based on how many hours the model would take and charge about $20
and hour. When I did free-lance design, well, I just made up a
price comparable to what other designers were giving. Depending
on how many pieces were on the page (3-10), I would charge
$20-$50 per page. I have seen other designers sell per piece and
charge upto $35 per piece. But now when I do a specially
commissioned piece, I do not charge for design work. I charge
based on materials and how long the work will take (including
model making). Does this help?


This might sound crazy but people will be happier spending more
for a custom wax. The jewelery store I work for charges 300
dollars minimum for a custom carve job plus stones and setting
charges. You might dissagree and I don’t blame you, but people
want to feel as if they are spending alot for alot. The time you
put into a custom wax is VALUABLE and the sooner you can charge
for that the better. Just try to get better with every wax. Hey ,
try a lathe, I love mine. the time you spend carving is The time
of creation. Make every slice of the X-acto knife a slash of the
paint brush and soon you will feel an artist and your work will
be worth more.

Hi, I’ve been carving wax for 10 years or so .When I first
started I charged about $ 20 per hour now I get 30-35 an hour .
I tell my customers (mostly wholesale co.s and designers) I
charge by time so I just add the hours and bill it. Of course be
prepared for them to turn white while clutching thier heart,
but it’s hard to find a skilled modelmaker . A friend of mine
charges 40 per hour and she’s always swamped with work!