Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making Resin Jewellery: Part 2

Resin brooches by Ames 2010
Working with resin is easy; however you do have to be mindful of a few safety issues when using the chemicals. I recommend that you work in a well ventilated area. For example, set up a table outside on a beautiful sunny day. Wear gloves (latex or nitrile), an apron to protect your clothes, and safety glasses (or sunglasses) to protect your eyes.

You will need to purchase some epoxy resin for embedding. There are a number of suppliers, including craft stores. However, if you want to purchase the resin in bulk, are interested in using pigments, want to buy ready made moulds, or just want some advice, I suggest that you go to Barnes or Solid Solutions if you are in Melbourne. These suppliers also run demonstrations and classes. Visit the websites for further information or feel free to leave a comment and I will try to get back to you.  All you need now is some silicon moulds, which are flexible. As mentioned, you can buy ready made moulds for bangles, rings and various shapes. For a cheaper alternative, ice-cube trays and muffin moulds work well. If you are really adventurous, you can even make your own moulds. The materials can be purchased from the above mentioned suppliers.

Time to start resin-ating.

Method: using an epoxy resin with a slow curing time - in this case Solid Solutions Solid Cast 606

  • Before you commence mixing the epoxy resin, choose the items you would like to embed. Items for embedding include ribbon, lace, fabric, buttons, beads, sequins, threads, paper items, photographs, flowers, leaves etc. The items can be added to the mould during or after pouring the resin. Place them slowly into the mixture to avoid air bubbles.
  • There are Part A and Part B components to the epoxy resin product.
  • Accurately measure out Part A and Part B by weight into two clean cups. The ratio is 3:1 (that is 3 parts of Part A to 1 part of Part B).
  • Pour the liquid from Part B into Part A and mix well, using a figure 8 action. Mix until the streaks are not visible.
  • Then pour the mixture into the chosen mould, using a moderate flow. If possible, pour down the side of the mould.
  • Allow the items to cure for 6-8 hours at room temperature before removing them from the moulds.
Note: Acetone is required to clean your cups - use if sparingly on paper towel.

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