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Make a continuous pattern on a ring

3 rings from green wax photographed in the sun so you can see their shadow as well. One has an interlocking circe pattern all the way around. One has an elongated diamond pattern all the way around. And one has 3 rows of holes all the way around

You have carving experience and want to improve. Learning to carve a continuous pattern ring is a perfect way to expand your skills. You learn everything about measuring and marking a continuous pattern and the best ways to carve it.

So what are the techniques you learn in this class?

Preparing the ring blank

Before you can start with the fun part of the ring, making the pattern, you first have to prepare the ring blank. That means piercing the ring, sizing it and filing it parallel and to the correct depth.

It’s the boring part of making any ring. But once you have the ring blank perfectly prepared, marking the pattern is going to be much easier.

CLose up of hands holding an unfinished green wax ring blank. There is a mark on the side showing the depth it's going to be.

Because starting from a symmetrical base makes it much easier to end up with a symmetrical ring! With the sides filed parallel, you know you can trust all the measurements you make from them. And measurements are kind of important when you make a repeat pattern.

Really these basic steps are the foundation of any good ring, so learn them now!

Measure even distances

Ever wondered how you get a repeating pattern? First you decide on the pattern you want! Then you measure your equal distances. Measuring equal distances isn’t always easy. And the most important thing to remember, is to start again if it doesn’t line up!

CLose up of hands marking out equal distances on the centre line of a green wax ring

You learn 2 different ways of measuring equal distances in this class. Practice them both and see which one you like best.

Marking a repeating pattern

If it’s possible, you should mark your entire pattern before you start shaping it. That way you can triple check that you have all the lines you need on there, before you start carving.

Green wax ring blank with and interlocking circle pattern marked on it

But sometimes it’s not possible to mark the entire pattern from the start. You can mark parts of it, but then you need to do some shaping first. Because the second part of the marking depends on the new shape you have carved.

Hands marking the second part of a pattern on a green wax ring after the centre has been burred already.

It requires a bit more thinking and planning, but it’s totally doable to mark your pattern in stages. Whatever your pattern needs, you learn how to mark a repeating pattern in this class.

Disguising mistakes

You’ve marked everything perfectly and now it’s time to start shaping. But you slip with the drill, the drill hole is not where it’s supposed to be and everything is ruined…

Not necessarily! Mistakes happen. Sometimes they can be completely fixed, other times they can be disguised to be less noticeable. And yes, sometimes there’s no other choice than to start over.

When you work in a certain order, it’s easier to fix mistakes. You won’t remove the mistake, you just make it less noticeable. And let’s be honest, mistakes are inevitable! It’s so easy to slip with a tool and take a big chunk of wax out. Remove too much wax by over burring or filing. Miscount, misfile, misdrill, mis…

It’s nice to know you can make a mistake, keep going and end up with a good repeating pattern.

Patience

Making a repeating pattern is not quick. It takes time and can be tedious because you do the same thing over and over again. I say can be because that is actually my favourite part in making repeating patterns! If you're like me, you might find it soothing to do the same thing over and over. Perfect time to zone out and listen to some music.

Hands carving the shape in an overlapping ring from green wax

If you’re not like me, this is the hard part. The most important thing is to keep doing what you’re doing. As soon as you start to skip steps and rush, mistakes happen that can’t be disguised.

The most important skill you learn (that’s not jewellery making specific) is patience. Patience to do the same thing over and over again.

In summary

In short, you learn how to prepare, measure and mark a ring pattern. Then you test your patience in the execution of it!

Feel inspired to learn all this? You can buy the continuous pattern ring class now!