Rosecut and cabochon settings: side view of a setting with a tourmalinated quartz turtle shell pattern is slightly visible on the setting, 2 settings for oval stones with some detail added on top making the settings looks like pineapples, big stone is a sapphire and small stone a garnet. 2 round settings one thin and one thick stones are cubic zirkonia. ALl settings made from blue wax

Settings play a supporting role to let the gemstone be the centre of attention, but that doesn’t mean they have to be purely functional. Settings can be beautiful and fun in their own right. Wax makes it easy to embellish your settings for that little bit extra.

This class is perfect if you want to incorporate stones in 3D shapes. You’ll learn how to give your settings curved backs, remove wax to reduce the extra weight that brings and how to design around your stone. Plain straight walled settings are also covered in the class.

This class doesn’t cover how to set stones, only how to make the settings. A basic knowledge on stone setting is helpful to make the most out of this class.

Close up of hand showing burr size over a piece of blue wax that has a burred indentation

Techniques covered

  • Deciding on wax thickness based on your stone
  • Different ways to stick your gemstone to the wax
  • Draw the outline of the stone on the wax
  • Cut a seat for the stone
  • Cleaning up the inside walls of the setting
  • Check setting wall height
  • Finish setting straight walled and back
  • Finish setting with a rounded back
  • Remove wax to reduce weight and cost
  • Cut a seat for the corners of stones
  • Incorporate stone in a 3D shape: pineapple, heart and candy
  • Fixing breakages
  • The correct (and incorrect, do as I say not as I do) way to remove a stone from its seat

Tools and materials

Essential

  • Wax slices or wax block
  • Rose cut and/or cabochon gemstone
  • Benchpeg
  • Jewellers saw and saw blades (regular saw blades work, but skip a tooth or waxblades make piercing easier)
  • Hand files 0 and 2 cut (0 cut to do the major work and 2 cut to give it a clean finish). If you have different cuts in your hand files, they’ll do the job just as well. It just takes a bit longer or shorter depending on the cut you have.
  • Callipers/vernier gauge
  • Dividers
  • Ruler
  • Scribe
  • Super glue or beeswax
  • Needle files
  • Dentist scalpel
  • Micro motor/foredom and ball burrs (different sizes, use what you have on hand)
  • Permanent marker

Optional

  • Wax file (you still need your cut 2 hand file to give your wax a clean finish)
  • Wax carving tools
  • Stanley knife
  • Floss
  • Small unit scale

2 round settings next to each other to show height/thickness difference. Stones are cubic zirkonias and settings are made from blue wax

What’s included

  • 54 page PDF with photos and written instructions. You can download the PDF for easier access.
  • 9 instructional videos, around 3.5 hours total
  • Opportunity to ask questions
  • Client brief. 1 Page outline for a setting project
  • Lifetime access to all the material

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Tutor

Tutor - Sandy Pfaff

Hi I’m Sandy. I learned jewellery making, including wax carving, at the school of jewellery in Dublin. After finishing my course, I taught at the school for a year and I also taught a wax carving workshop at Lucy Walker Jewellery in Kuala Lumpur.

After learning all the basics of wax carving, I practiced and experimented A LOT. Something didn’t work out the first time I tried it? No problem, just try again (and again and again…) until it does work! Practice really is the only way to get better at something :)

I made this class to help you in your wax carving journey. It’s made with love (and some exasperated sighs and curses when things don’t go like I want them to). I love wax carving and I’m excited to teach you!

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