Guest Post: Resin for the First Time

Today, I am honored to be joined by Ashley Lauwereins, the talented marketing specialist for the bead and jewelry groups here at Interweave. While Ashley is a gifted metalsmith, she is new to resin. Here, she shares her experience using resin for the first time. Hats off to you, Ashley–your bezels turned out fabulous!

–Debbie Blair, Managing Editor

Working at Interweave, it's hard not to be inspired by all the products and techniques surrounding me. You may not know my name, but you know me– I'm the voice behind all your bottom ads, the copy for recent products, and the "Ashley" that posts on Facebook occasionally.

While I've written about resin, seen projects that use the technique, and been urged to try it, this was one technique that I hadn't gotten around to. I'm comfortable with my torch, saw, wire, and beads, but resin was always one of those that I hadn't committed to.

That all changed this weekend. I have begun working with Susan Lenart Kazmer and ICE Resin to curate an exclusive kit of the month centered around Susan's new book Resin Alchemy and using some of the products from her wonderful line. Not only were all these fabulous ladies thrilled to partner with us, they sent me a box of wonderful materials so I could truly EXPERIENCE what the kit would be like. And experience I decided to do!

Once I had everything set up, it was time to be inspired! I started by flipping through Susan's book. Susan does a tremendous job providing inspiration and going beyond the typical place-and-pour applications resin is associated with. With her creativity as inspiration, and her words of advice in mind, I worked to channel Susan's voice and do as she teaches: channel my inner voice as a designer. Using that, plus an image of one of her lovely bezels (below, left), I was able to find something that inspired me (which became the bezels on the right).


And these small bezels filled with glitter? That inspiration came from Mallory Leonard (a lovely editor from Step by Step Wire Jewelry) who recommended I create glitter bezels to string on a ribbon with crystals. Check, and, check. So now the moment of truth: time to layer the creations together. I pour out my resin and realize I have a lot of resin to play with. So I throw caution out the window and let my inspiration take me where I will go.

Yes, all three of my bezels (above) look the same, but I created them all differently. The round one has glitter on top of the paper. The pink square one has glitter poured on the bottom of the bezel. And for the bezel with the square music note paper, I mixed the glitter in with the resin. Finally, I made sure to place my lovely bezels in the sun so the air bubbles could rise to the surface, a tip I learned from Debbie Blair.

I certainly learned a lot about creating with resin, but I think the part I enjoyed the most was the ability to improvise and go with the flow. The entire process was freeing– I could dust the glitter and there was no wrong amount to include. I could mix colors, materials, and metals together to create something truly unique.

Not only did I have fun selecting the ultimate January kit, I also had fun developing my skills as a jewelry artist. Now all I need to do is finish the bezels. I'm thinking of stringing the round one on leather with a rhinestone cord. As for the others, I have no idea yet (Have any suggestions for me? Leave them in the comments!).

Next on my play list is working with Iced Enamels –that will be aided by Susan's two DVDs and my love of fire. Stay tuned! 

–Ashley Lauwereins, Interweave Marketing Specialist


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