Resin Jewelry Making with Susan Lenart Kazmer
There is something about being in a production facility that makes me want to get behind the machines and get busy. It could be a connection I have with my Dad (he was a trained machinist and tool and die maker) or, that I was really meant to work in a factory and be around tools and machines all day! I’m truly fascinated with how machines work and how they do the jobs they do. I’m equally impressed by the minds that developed these inventions! Recently, I was invited to tour Ranger Inc. and take part in Susan Lenart Kazmer’s two-day resin jewelry workshop. What a thrill!
Visiting Ranger Inc.
Out of respect for the no-pictures request, I don’t have anything to share visually in the Ranger production and warehouse facility (except this alternate view of the group!). I hope it’s enough to say Ranger does an amazing amount of production, packing, and shipping in their New Jersey facility. From creating and packaging inkpads, bottles of alcohol ink (affiliate link), ICE Resin tints, and everything in between, I was overwhelmed and truly felt like a kid in a candy store. Being a huge fan of all their product lines, it was really hard to contain myself!
The same facility houses their business offices, and I also enjoyed some time with the ladies who work behind the scenes. From product development, education, and graphic design, to warehouse and inventory management, this talented group juggles a lot. And they do it with a smile, which shows in the work they produce.
Learning with Susan Lenart Kazmer
Ranger is a state-of-the-art company that remains humble and proud to serve the communities who love and use their products. They also align themselves with dynamic artists who work side-by-side with them to develop the product lines we all love to use. Susan Lenart Kazmer is one of the talented artists with a line with Ranger Inc., and she was in town to share some of her ICE Resin (affiliate link) knowledge as well as inspire us to create with abandon.
Susan’s designs were hot off the runway in Milan and it was wonderful to see these beauties in person, as well as learn more about how they were created. Much of what went into these special pieces was covered throughout the weekend, as the workshop was an intense resin exploration.
Making Resin Jewelry
Along the path there was time for layering, foils, organics, casting, and creating resin paper. We also had the chance to work with a lot of the new products in Susan’s line, like the molds! This clever new addition creates castings perfectly sized for Susan’s bezels. The other magic to these molds is the matte finish they leave on the surface—I’m truly in love! We also were able to incorporate other Ranger Inc products in resin, like the Tim Holtz Distress Crayons (affiliate link) as they are perfectly suited chemically—fabulous!
In all of Susan’s workshops, she covers safety and best practices when working with the materials in her line. In this intense resin workshop, Susan also taught basic jewelry-making techniques, her understanding and appreciation for talismans, how she surrounds and immerses herself in different materials then creates a variety of pieces at one time, and even her mistakes. No matter the topic or location, Susan also gives of and shares herself–the true gift of any time with her.
Here is a slideshow of a few more images from the two-day workshop, which I hope inspires you to also create with abandon and maybe to take a workshop with Susan the next time you have the chance.
Until next time, Cheers!
Group Editorial Director, Bead & Jewelry and Editor, Beadwork