This step by step shows how I created an engagement ring model in my signature Provence design, which features three flowers on each side of a center stone, and a diamond nestled in each trio of flowers.
Regardless of the design, my process is the same every time I create a gemstone ring.
Step 1: I start with a slice of wax designed for making rings. This wax is the hardest one available which is ideal for models that will have a lot of detail, and the flat top is perfect for designs featuring stones. At this stage I also make sure the ring hole is the correct size for my client.
Step 2: Mark the center lines in each direction on the wax, as well as the boundaries for the stone. This is one of the most important steps because it is setting the foundation of alignment for the rest of the process. If these lines are slightly crooked or off-center, it will only become more crooked and more off-center as you go.
Step 3: Begin carving the "seat" for the stone, taking special care to ensure the stone is straight.
Step 4: Now that the stone is sitting well, I file down the flat top of the wax, revealing my prongs. These prongs will remain chunky until the very end to minimize breakage throughout the process.
Step 5: At this point I remove a majority of the bulky wax, making sure to re-mark my center lines. I also began to plot out where the first flowers will go.
Step 6: Measuring down from the edge of the stone seat, I finish plotting out my flowers and the location of the diamonds. I also remove the extra wax from around the flowers and on the ring shank (band). I constantly reference the center lines to ensure the shank stays straight.
Step 7: Roughly map out the petals of each flower.
Step 8: Using magnifying glasses, I refine and round out the flower petals. I sometimes add melted wax back onto the design to perfect the shape and size of the petals.
Step 9: Check the stones fit. Unfortunately, even though I thought the seat was a good fit, sometimes things change. This fits terribly and I now need to find the problem areas before I continue.
Step 10: Now that the stone fits properly, I finish detailing the flowers by dropping a small ball of melted wax into the center of each one.
Step 11: Throughout this process I have intentionally left the ring shank thicker than I would like. The reason for this is that it prevents a weak point, which can lead to breakage while I'm working.
Step 12: Now I slim and finely sand the ring shank. I also did not love how boxy the actual setting was in step 11 where the stone was seated, so I melted some wax back onto the prong area and shaped it to more of an elegant taper.
Step 13: Finally I add texture to the flowers, split and refine my prongs and polish the wax so my casting comes out as perfect as possible. This step seems like it would be quick, but it actually takes a lot of time because the model is so delicate at this stage. "Haste makes waste," and thats the last thing you want to be reminded of when you're so close to the finish line.
Here she is, the final look before I take the model to my local casting house to be transformed into metal through the "lost wax process." After I pick up my newly cast ring, I take it home, polish it by hand and set the stones.
At long last, this finished engagement ring is ready to live happily ever after on my clients hand.
I hope you enjoyed the insight into how each piece of my jewelry is made. If you have any questions or are interested in a custom ring of your own, comment below, or reach out through live chat or my Contact Page and I'd be happy to answer them for you.