Making Glass Resin Jewelry, Casting Resin, Talismans & More with Susan Lenart Kazmer
I love embedding treasures in resin jewelry–precious paper ephemera (or copies of it), leaves and twigs and other treats from Mother Nature, found objects, glitter!!–but resin has so many more capabilities than just being the “glue” that holds mixed-media works of art together. It can be the star of the show when cast into shapes you create, molds you buy, or molds you make from found objects.
Resin can also be tinted, carved, embellished with foil–and those techniques combined can create gem-like focal pieces for resin jewelry making that are truly one of a kind. Here’s Susan Lenart Kazmer to share how she creates cast resin jewelry, “glass” resin pendants, talismans, and more inspiring news of what she’s been creating lately!
Nontraditional Resin Jewelry: Shaman’s Collar
By Susan Lenart Kazmer
I am finding my work moving into a refreshing, exploratory direction. With my new process, I am incorporating the organics of nature and combining fabricated sterling silver and bronze, so the finished results generate powerful nontraditional jewelry. I find myself taking an unusual approach and have begun embedding qualities, intention, text, and prayers into my components and finished jewelry, the same as ancient people did long ago, to create talisman jewelry.
In my process of becoming a jeweler, I researched, collected, and held in my hands pieces from many cultures that were built and worn to protect, strengthen, or send love to the wearer. I have held gorgeous silver prayer boxes from India with layers of scribbled messages and power words. In my work, I use this same process to build my own embedded charms.
I continue to work in sterling silver, bronze, leather, organic materials, and resin. In 2006, I mixed together an exceptional resin product that had all of the qualities that I needed in building work for an art exhibit, museum, or for my commercial jewelry line. With this product, my ideas, inventions, and exploration in jewelry are endless. Some of the qualities I favor in ICE Resin is the clarity that will last my lifetime, and because of the longer set up time, I have a perfect surface when dry and I can embed anything into resin without bleeding, altering, or destroying my object.
In recent resin work, I am casting beautiful leaves and combining them with brilliant tints and foils; sealing in organic materials such as dried flowers, feathers, and beach sticks; and making prayer boxes by stacking embedded words onto paper made transparent with ICE Resin.
I am teaching workshops in building resin and metal/resin jewelry at BeadFest and a few other places this year. Students will build transparent layers of resin and learn casting. In my “Resin, Relics and Ancient Objects” workshop, students will get hands-on tips to create pieces emulating color-encrusted ancient artifacts and construct transparent glass/resin that is much lighter to wear and can be carved, marked, and finished with sgraffito.
For the first time in November, I will be teaching “Stones, Bones and Sacred Jewelry,” a transformational art and jewelry retreat in Indonesia that focuses not only on practical and necessary jewelry techniques but my practice of embedding talismans, intention, text, and prayers into resin jewelry and metal work. On field trips, students will learn this process, a common practice in Indonesian culture, through a medicine man and series of blessings, rituals, and ceremonies. We focus on building a shaman collar using our own objects, altering leather, fabricating metal for resin jewelry, and the process of generating talismans. This is ICE Resin in its highest art form! For the good of the whole. —SLK
Learn more about resin jewelry making–including how to combine resin with metalwork, resin casting, using found objects and paper in resin, and much more, from basics to way-beyond-basics–with Jen Cushman and Susan Lenart Kazmer in their beautiful new book, Explore, Create, Resinate Jewelry: Mixed-Media Techniques for Using ICE Resin. And don’t miss Jen’s free tutorial on making a cast resin skeleton leaf similar to the ones Susan shared above.