Intro to Wax Carving for Stones

  • $590.00
    Unit price per 

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Intro to Wax Carving for Stones
Instructor: Maru Almeida
January 23, 30, February 6, 13, March 6, 13: 6:00 - 9:30 Six Monday nights (no class Feb 20, 27)
Class Fee: $590 | Basic materials included

Class format: in studio at Danaca Design

Prerequisites: none, basic metal working helpful

Wax is a wonderfully versatile material; it is easily shaped and even melted! This opens up many design possibilities for jewelry making. It also makes it an ideal medium to create settings for colorful gemstones. In this class, we will explore different approaches, both subtractive and additive (carving and melting) to create custom fit settings for your gemstones. We will work with bezels for both cabochons and round faceted gemstones as well as exploring organic and stylized prongs with other fun modifications. If you already have experience working with wax, this will give you the understanding and confidence to add gemstones to your designs. No previous experience is necessary for the class although some metal working experience might come in handy. After four classes of wax working, your wax models will be cast in metal and then returned for 2 more class sessions (there is a 2 week break for casting). The last two sessions will focus on the casting cleanup, stone setting techniques and final finishing.

Themes covered include:

  • Anatomy of gemstones both cabochon and faceted
  • Stone setting theory and application
  • Types of wax and their use
  • Transferring your designs accurately on to wax
  • Creating effective settings for your stones
  • Carving patterns and textures
  • Polishing your wax model
  • Building up with wax and soft waxes (hot wax working)
  • How the casting process works
  • Weighing your designs for casting
  • Cleaning up your pieces after casting
  • Thick bezel setting technique
  • Informal prong setting technique
  • Filing and refining your final silver pieces

Materials INCLUDED:

  • Carving and forming wax
  • The use of wax saw blades and carving tools
  • 20 grams sterling silver for final castings
  • 1oz Bronze for final casting
  • If students want to exceed the 20 gram sterling allotment, additional material cost will be calculated based on current metal prices at the time of class. The additional fee will be based on the combined weight of the final products as well as any additional flask fees incurred.

Students MAY Bring:

  • Stones to incorporate into projects: Cabochons and round faceted (class includes some to pick from)
  • Project design ideas
  • Additional magnification (available in studio store)
  • Hot wax pen or Soldering Iron with dimmer switch
  • Dental tools
  • Xacto knife (very useful to bring your own)
  • Carving tools

Instructor Bio:

Maru Almeida was born and raised in Mexico growing up surrounded by a rich silversmithing tradition and the work of local artisans. Her curiously of the artistic transformation of metal guided her to pursue both a BFA and an MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing from the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Oregon, respectively. Through her education she learned the necessary skills for working with precious materials as well as exploring non-traditional materials to incorporate on her one-of-a-kind work. In her work she develops ideas exploring movement, tactility and discovery through the senses; always looking for a true connection to the work through the body. Maru has been working as an artist and professional jeweler for more that 15 years and has taught at several institutions including the University of Oregon and the Seattle University. She also teaches private lessons at her Seattle studio. Maru’s work has been featured in Metalsmith Magazine and is part of the jewelry collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon. Her wedding rings have been published in the book "500 Wedding Rings" by Lark Books.

What students are saying:
"Great instructor and a very fun class!" -Morgan 6/22

Tools are available to purchase through Danaca Design Studio with 15% student discount code. Shop tools HERE. If you don’t see what you need please email us,

Review our class cancellation policy HERE.

All students must fill out and electronically submit the Danaca Design COVID-19 Studio Safety Protocol and Waiver form before attending class.