|Photo credit: Courtney Gray Arts|
I first met Creative Side's owner, Courtney Gray, at a small holiday art fair a few years ago. We had a lovely visit then, and taking one of her classes went immediately on my "to do" list.
In addition to creating custom jewelry, including especially beautiful engagement rings and wedding sets, Courtney wanted to teach and mentor other jewelers, so she started CSJA. Since our initial meeting, her school has had great success, and recently expanded - there are two bench studios, each with a dozen seats, and jewelry artists from all over the country come to teach and learn.
|Photo credit: |
Lost wax is a technique that has been used to make objects - small and large - for centuries. One of the most famous lost wax casts is Degas' Little Dancer. Made in very much the same manner as the jewelry we fabricated in class - it was first carved in wax, cast in bronze, finished, and a mold was made from the finished original.
With an understanding of the tools, we got to work on our designs.
|My final sketch|
|Initial transfer to wax|
Then it was time to prepare the wax by covering it with a generous layer of china white grease pencil, and transferring the design to the wax block so that we could begin carving......
|The first phase of carving|
|The finished wax|
It took a full day to move from concept to a wax rendering to be placed in the casting flask.
Even with the carved wax, it was honestly hard to visualize the pendant in silver. I felt like I'd learned a lot, but had my doubts about how it would turn out, especially because I don't consider myself to be a particularly artistic person.
But I had already decided that if I am serious about making a foray into the jewelry world, I need to understand how the fabrication process works - and the knowledge I would be taking away from the class could well be more valuable than the tangible finished product.
Until next time...when I'll share just how things turned out.