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Wax Tutorials

Hi everyone,
On a recent trip to Parma, Italy I was introduced to wax fabrication, carving and the lost wax method. I found myself standing at a jewellers shop with my mouth wide open in astonishment at the work I was seeing. I went inside and sat with the maker who was soo genrous with both her time and knowledge. She told me that she had been introduced to wax carving and forming by her dentist and had never looked back since.
I was amazed at how she managed to mimic nature with the wax, wrapping strands around the shanks of her rings and adding foliage and stone settings for incredible detail. She told me about a six month course in Florence. As much as I would love to, I cannot just leave for Florence for six months. Does anyone know of a detailed tutorial that they could recommend? I cannot find any classes here in Ireland. London does have some but, once again it would mean being there for a few months just like Florence. I am more interested in fabrication using strands and building up detail with melted wax. Of course the core structure is vital too.
I know this is my next step as a jeweller and the style of this work will really compliment and suit my own signature style beautifully. Now its just a matter of building the skill.

Any tips. guidance or sources are very much appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Kate

Kate,

I’m sure without looking that you could find some videos online to show you how to carve wax, but for the past 30 years I have used one particular book with my students. It is titled, “Basic Wax Modeling: An Adventure in Creativity” by Hiroshi Tsuyuki. It is no longer in print, but you can still purchase a used copy on Amazon for $52 and up depending upon condition and supplier. I highly recommend it because it is geared towards beginners, it shows the basic tools needed to do this work, and it has several chapters with how-to illustrated steps to complete various wax techniques including wax build-up.

Best of luck. Wax modeling is waaay cool,
Mike

Kate,
I looked at Youtube and most of the tutorials there are of wax carving, tho’ I’m sure if you looked deeply enough you would find something…since carving and buildup and modification of standard waxes all go hand in hand, I’m sure some time spent looking at some of the videos could be helpful. There are two books that I know of that have some info on wax buildup and they are available used or at your local library or thru interlibrary loan. One is a small booklet by Richard Austin, Model Making for Jewelry Casting. This has info on making your own tools and on texturing as well as using sheet wax to build up flowers, etc., and assembling pieces which are turned on a DIY wax lathe. Then there are two chapters in the classic Lawrence Kallenberg text, Modeling in
Wax for Jewelry and Sculpture.
on buildup. Since this stuff requires a lot of practice more than anything, I wouldn’t hesitate to start off with expermenting and then perhaps find a course after the basics are out of the way. If you start off with a course, you could spend several days and end up learning on the basics which you could blunder through on your own. Once you know where you are failing, a tutor would be of more help, I think (for less money!). There are also two Japanese books by Tsuyuki that are step by step tutorials which include some work on wax buildup. HTH, royjohn

This is the only video I could find. Hope it helps:

Thank you soo much Robin. Thanks for finding it for me🌺

I use Kate Wolf’s wax tools - they are phenomenal! Just a warning - they are some of the sharpest most dangerous tools I have - always use safety precautions and hand and eye protection. She has at least one book, some videos, and teaches workshops throughout the year. I find her to be excellent technically as well as being very artistic. She’s a very clear teacher. Her website is: https://wolftools.com/

I wish she did an online class or tutorial. There is not a chance of my making it to one of her classes😔

Thanks for your tips Gwen

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Thanks Mike, I will take yr advice and buy the book. There is nothing quite like seeing the technique evolve hands on either in class or on video.

Thank you!

I want to learn how to fabricate in wax too. The video was very helpful as I am not one of those people who sees a problem and invents a solution. I like to see Tips and Tricks of masters. Please PM me if you find out more information.

Getting cold in Philly,
Esta Jo

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Hi Kate,

Kate Wolf of Wolf Designs if one of the best carving instructors I know. She has a fabulous line of tools and has developed her own waxes. Her studio is in Maine but she teaches all over the world. thrive@katewolfdesigns.com

Deb

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Thanks Deb,

I’ll contact her :+1:

Kate if you can take a course with her she is a well of information!

Regards,

Deb Haug,

Certificate of Jewellery Skills,

Alberta University of the Arts

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deb@gemrapture.ca

  **1-780-953-8234**

Div. of Create-Mode Inc.

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Oh my God Robin!! that video is just amazing!! This is the kind of wax detail I want to learn. I do not need to carve I just really want to learn how to add that kind of detail. Do you know of anymore video’s or would you be willing to shoot a few? Sorry! im sure you are very busy but, I dont know how I am going to have the opportunity to learn this craft from the very basics to hands on. I know I will take to it like a fish to water and its so perfect with my style of jewellery already! HELP!! does anyone know of any more videos like this one?

Robin, you are the best!

Thank you!!

Kate

You are very welcome. For years most of the money I made went to either tools (ok I am an addict - blame it on me being an engineer) or books & classes. There is truly a lot of phenomenal free instruction on the web if you search for it. Lots of the master instructors offer some free instructional videos and articles on their websites. I found this for you - it’s a free beginner guide written by Kate Wolf: https://wolftools.com/cut-loose-part-1/. You can also do what my 19 yo son does every time he wants another guitar pedal: he prints out a picture of it, draws a line around it, and fills it in as he earns $ for it😉. Try some basic carving - soap will do fine. Buy a v-gouge and a u-gouge to start with. Dockyard Microtools are great - you can find them at Woodcraft stores https://www.woodcraft.com/search?q=dockyard&button=search. The stores sell them individually - they come in different sizes 1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm, etc. Ask questions on this forum. Doesn’t matter what you carve, just practice every day. And be careful not to carve yourself, I have seen lots of injuries- ie don’t watch tv and carve at the same time.

Thank you all for the numerous suggestions! I took your advice and bought “Basic Wax Modeling: An Adventure in Creativity” by Hiroshi Tsuyuki. It is really very nice. I am enjoying the Projects that are presented in the book. It will help me get a better skill set in working with wax. Practice! Practice! Practice! I am getting there.