Silver Ouroboros Ring

I had an opportunity to cast a ring recently. My mother has been taking some interesting classes since she retired a few years ago, and one of recent ones is jewelry making. The process involves carving a wax original, making a plaster mold of it and using that plaster mold to cast a metal final.

I chose to make an Ouroboros (a serpent devouring itself). I had an Ouroboros ring made for me years ago but it was lost, now I had the opportunity to make one myself.

Wax rings and tools

Wax rings and the tools to carve them. An awl, two pocket knives, files, and sandpaper,  There is also an alabaster ring of the same style that I carved while I was impatient to receive the jeweler’s wax.

Finished Wax

After a lot of carving and sanding, the wax is ready to be invested. I have carved this design before in the form of an olive wood bracelet for  my girlfriend. I typically represent the serpent with horns and five scales.

After the original was finished, I handed it off to my mother who was taking a jewelry class so that she could do the actual investment. I am not going to detail the process here, because I did not do it myself, but the Lost Wax / Investment Casting process is well documented other places on the internet.

Ouroboros Ring after casting

Ouroboros Ring after casting. The “eyes” are caused by air bubbles and were unintentional. I will grind them off. At this stage, I will need to do a lot of polishing.

Finished Silver Ouroboros Ring

Finished Silver Ouroboros ring, a one-of-a-kind piece.

Maybe one day I will be able to afford the tools to do this myself but for now, I am grateful that my mother was able to cast my ring as part of her project.

The tools that I would need to do this myself are:

  • Mixing bowls, investment (plaster), steel flask,
  • Vacuum table for de-gassing the investment
  • Burnout oven for hardening the plaster and vaporizing the wax
  • Crucible / Torch for melting the metal to be cast
  • Centrifuge for forcing the molten metal into the investment mold

For now I am very happy with the results and will just have to put the tools above on the “Someday” list