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5 inspiring ring designs to create at a wax carving jewellery making class

If you're planning to come along to one of my Bristol jewellery making classes or have booked a private party or creative jewellery hen do then you might be after some pre-workshop inspiration. I always tell my students that they don't need a fixed plan about what they want to make in advance, but if you're someone who likes to be prepared then hopefully this blog post will give you a few ideas before you arrive.

The wax carving technique that we learn about at the workshops is ideal for exploring designs that have a slightly chunkier, more 3D and/or more textured feel than pieces you might make from flat sheet or wire. Although the blue jewellers wax that we use is hard, it is easily cut into with files and carving tools enabling you to create a range of stunning effects. So, whether you want to make your own signet ring, wax carve a chunky band or create a pretty granulated silver ring it's all possible!

Read on for 5 of my favourite wax carved ring designs....all illustrated with images of actual pieces created at my Bristol jewellery making workshops and parties.

Above: Silver and gold plated textured wedding bands created at an Elin Horgan jewellery making class

1) The simple textured band

My jewellery classes are intended for complete beginners so all of the pieces shown in this blog post have been created by participants who have no previous jewellery making experience. I do however understand that sometimes you might lack confidence if you haven't made jewellery before and so a textured band is a great place to start if you're feeling a bit apprehensive about what you'll be able to create.

The blue jewellers wax that we use comes in a long tube with a centred hole for your finger and is cut to size meaning that you start with a 'ring' shape and can then use some simple tools to add texture as you wish. The beautiful designs above were made by first shaping the rings and then using a craft knife to cut small incisions into them to remove the wax. It's quite subtle, but I think the effect is absolutely stunnning and they look equally as good in recycled silver and gold plated silver.

2) The classic signet ring

Once the preserve of the upper classes and used to stamp or seal a document, the signet ring is now fully mainstream and a wonderful addition to any jewellery box. Quite simply, it's a style that will never look out of date.

A signet ring design is a slightly more challenging make than a band, but it's still totally doable and I have had lots of participants who've created fantastic versions of this classic design. The top bezel (the flat bit) if typically round or oval, but why not experiement with a different shape such as a square, diamond or heart shape?

Above: Cloud shaped silver signet ring and granulated silver band, both created at an Elin Horgan jewellery workshop

3) The shaped signet ring

A modern take on a classic design, the shaped signet ring can take so many forms. You could try something super cute like the silver cloud ring design above or go for something more angular like a star burst. If you really want to make it your own you could also engrave it....a happy little face or an initial are always a popular choice and can be easily added using a pointed tool or the end of a needle file.

Above: Shards statement ring in gold plated silver, created at a Bristol jewellery workshop with Elin Horgan

4) The statement ring

If you really fancy exploring the versatility of the wax carving technique then why not make a super special one-off statement ring like the fabulous jagged shards band in the photo above? This piece was created by cutting into the wax with files and a craft knife to achieve the different levels and highly textured surface. I think this might be one of my favourite ever designs and the wow factor is only enhanced by the choice of gold plating. A true stunner!

Above: Gold plated silver granulated ring, handmade at an Elin Horgan jewellery class

5) The granulated ring

Another possibility for adding texture to your wax carved ring is to create little granules or bobbles using a special wax pen with a heated element. The ring above was shaped, carved and finished with sandpaper before the granules were added. This is a technique that requires a little patience (don't worry there's plenty of opportunity to practice on scrap wax before you try it on your ring!), but I think the effect is really striking. This one makes me think of some incredible ancient buried treasure that's just been unearthed and polished up.

I hope these have given you some ideas about what you can make. f you've like some further inspiration then please do check out my jewellery making workshops Pinterest board wheIre I've saved images of lots of rings and pendants that participants at my previous classes have made. Alternatively if you have an idea of something you'd like to create at a session and want to discuss it further before you book then please do e-mail me at

Elin Horgan designs and creates handmade jewellery in her Bristol studio. Elin’s beautifully simple handmade jewellery is carefully crafted and designed to be worn every day. You can read more about Elin’s work and the ethos behind her understated jewellery brand on her About Elin Horgan Jewellery page.

If you’d like to enquire about a specific product or discuss a custom piece of jewellery, please have a look at the Bespoke Handmade Jewellery page or email


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