Resin Jewelry and How to Make a Resin Button with an Image Transfer
Whether a line drawing, a picture, or even a drawing your child made, transfers make it possible to translate art into a wearable piece of jewelry. How you use an image transfer is one of those – the possibilities are endless, things! Using a transfer in resin increases the impact of a transfer as well as protects the image from wear and tear.
There are lots of ways to transfer art and the method you choose will likely be dependent on the medium you’re working in, how the transfer will be adhered and preserved, and the overall look you’re going for.
A transfer could be done using polymer clay, polymer clay liquid medium, liquid medium gel (from the painting arena), or even a heat transfer you apply to fabric. Susan Lenart Kazmer shares a heat transfer technique in her book Resin Alchemy.
Excerpt from Resin Alchemy
I use heat transfer to incorporate images into my resin designs. Techni-Print 4.0 is my top choice because I can use either an ink-jet or a laser printer with it. Also, the negative spaces in my images remain transparent after they are heat-transferred to paper. Rice paper is my top pick of paper because I like its textures and transparency. I’m also able to transfer an image to a fabric that is either a loose weave and/or thing such as gauze; I simply bind it by covering it with a thin sheet of plastic before I press on the transfer using an iron that is on a nonsteam cotton setting.
Copying original images. For any visual that you want to photocopy in order to preserve the original, remember that when you transfer the image, it’ll be a mirror image. Handwriting is the most obvious visual that needs to be reversed when it’s copied in order to transfer properly. For digital images, you can print directly from your computer onto transfer paper.
Transferable Media. You can make your own art to embed using heat transfer. The range of possibilities is huge: permanent markers, rubber stamps with permanent ink, any oil based paints, crayons, graphite and colored pencils, even watercolors. The only extra step you need to take when you have a water-based ink or paint is to heat-set the ink by pressing it with an iron on a nonsteam setting.
Susan shared another transfer technique in her workshop at BeadFest. Use packing tape to transfer an ink-jet image from plain paper. I’ve been successful with this method using a laser printer and love knowing it also works with ink-jet. As with any new technique, test before you delve into a masterpiece. Test your printer to see what its capabilities are and if your printer’s ink is not suitable, try your neighbor or even the public library. You will love the technique even if you have to go a little out of your way.
Image Transfer Using Packing Tape
Step 1. Create your artwork and print it out onto regular copy paper.
Step 2. Place a piece of tape over the printed image and burnish the surface of the tape so you get a good bond.
Step 3. Soak the back of the paper with water. Let the water soak in.
Step 4. Rub the paper to remove it from the tape.
Your image will be left on the underside of the tape, preserved for eternity (or for a long time, anyway).
Step 5. Cut the image to suit the bezel or item you are inserting the transfer into/onto. For this image I placed a sealed piece of white paper behind it for contrast.
Step 6. Place the layers into the bezel and press down to make sure all edges are inside the bezel.
Step 7. Pour in your (properly) mixed resin then allow it to cure.
You will be so excited when you try this and see how quick and easy this really is. The part that took me the longest was the drawing, and that was a fun Zentangle exercise I did on my tablet — so a great technique start to finish.
I can’t wait to see what you do with transfers. Please share your methods and any tricks or tips you can offer us. Check out more of Susan’s Resin Alchemy for ideas on how to use your transfers as well as scads of other great ideas on using resin and fabricating jewelry.
For instructions on how to make the right-angle weave bracelet shown above, see How to Make a Right-Angle Weave Seed Bead Bracelet with Ice Resin and Image Transfer Button Clasp.
Yours in creativity,