Mixed-Media Jewelry-Making: Top 5 Resin Tips
Danielle Fox, editor of Stringing and Handcrafted Jewelry is here today to share five resin jewelry-making tips and to talk about a recent project. . .our fabulous eMag: Handcrafted Jewelry Studio. This multimedia magazine features products, techniques, and artists from all over our creativity community generously sharing their tips and step-by-steps for some of the coolest mixed-media jewelry projects around—including yours truly. Welcome Danielle!
I have a confession to make. While I've known about the three main types of resin for a long time (two-part epoxy resin, UV resin, and resin glazes), I didn't actually use the two-part epoxy type until recently. My first attempts didn't produce perfect results, but I was surprised at how easy the material was to work with. Let me share the top five tricks I learned or came up with along the way!
1. Use your bezel as a stamp. Cutting out paper to fit inside a bezel isn't easy. That's why some bezel manufacturers have developed tools to cut out shapes to fit perfectly inside their bezels. I came up with my own solution: Ink up your bezel in a stamp pad just as you would a rubber stamp and then use it to stamp on your paper. Wash and dry your bezel thoroughly to remove all the ink; then use scissors to cut along the inside the of stamp mark. Trim as necessary.
2. Seal, seal, and seal again. If you don't want resin to seep into your paper, you must cover it with sealant, such as Mod Podge. Seal the top, bottom, and sides and apply several coats, allowing the sealant to dry between coats. I didn't seal my paper well enough the first time, and a bit of resin seeped into my paper, making that area look a little darker than the rest—a big bummer for a perfectionist like myself.
3. A matte finish hides mistakes. Because I liked everything about my ring design except the small dark patch where resin seeped into the paper, I really wanted to salvage it. Cynthia Thornton's amazing Enchanted Adornments book to the rescue! I had remembered reading about Cynthia's technique for creating a satin finish on dried resin: Simply rub the resin surface with 600- then 2000-grit wet/dry sandpapers until you achieve the desired "matte-ness." What a great way to camouflage mistakes!
4. Soda bottles make great ring platforms. When it was time to pour the resin into my ring's bezel, I needed to keep the ring steady and upright. A plastic soda bottle did the trick—the shank fit into the opening while the bezel rested perfectly on top. I filled the bottle with sand so it wouldn't tip over.
5. Room temperature does matter. According to Susan Lenart Kazmer's instructions for her two-part epoxy Ice Resin, an optimal room temperature for mixing resin is 72°F. My first resin projects were created in late summer when it was probably at least 80°F in my studio—they turned out great! However . . . when some coworkers and I were playing with resin in the basement studio here at work where it was a lot cooler, the bubbles that formed in the resin didn't dissipate. That's because there wasn't enough heat to pull them to the surface. To fix this problem, I've learned I can set the resin under a warm task light or I can pop any bubbles that remain with a toothpick or piece of wire within about a half hour after pouring.
P. S. To read the full article from Danielle, visit Top 5 Resin Tips for Jewelry Making on our sister site Jewelry Making Daily!