Stacking Rings

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.

Photo of Process

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

PHOTO OF FINISHED PIECE

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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And

Tutor

Tutor - Sandy Pfaff

Hi I’m Sandy. I make all the waxes you see in the videos and photos. But I also write the handout, make the videos and edit them into the tutorial videos. Out of all these, wax carving is definitely my strong point.

I trained at the school of jewellery in Dublin, where I learned wax carving. After finishing my degree, I taught at the school for a year and worked at a jewellery shop as a bench jeweller/sales person.

While travelling through Asia for the past two years (pre pandemic), I took some short courses to expand my skills and rented bench space to keep making jewellery (need a recommendation of jewellery classes in Asia/bench rental? Ask me!) Personal highlight was teaching a wax carving workshop at Lucy Walker in Kuala Lumpur.

Besides my training, I’ve practiced A LOT. Add a healthy dose of stubbornness (I won’t let wax breaking defeat me!) to keep trying until I can make what I set out to make. There’s broken waxes and first attempts in my scrap wax box. I’m proud of those, because practice is the only way to get better.

This class is made with love. I love wax carving and I’m excited to teach you.

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