Resin Jewelry Making: Using Resin as a Glue and More with Susan Lenart Kazmer

It’s hard to think of resin, or see resin jewelry, or learn about resin, without thinking of Susan Lenart Kazmer. Susan is queen of resin and creator of ICE Resin jeweler’s-grade resin. Her book Resin Alchemy is one of my favorite jewelry-making books, and not just for resin jewelry making. Susan covers basic metalwork and wirework, cold enameling, making faux drusy stones, jewelry design, the art of exploring, and so much more.

As a formally trained artist and metalsmith, Susan is a wealth of information on many jewelry techniques, including resin jewelry making of course. I took an enameling class with her last year at Bead Fest, and in it I learned one of my most valued enameling tips: You can use resin as counter enamel. It’s especially helpful when you get the front of a piece just right but don’t want to risk it in the heat to counter enamel the back.

cast resin jewelry making by Susan Lenart Kazmer

I also learned from Susan that resin is a fantastic adhesive. Since then I’ve used it to fix all manner of things around the house and as the easiest cold connection for jewelry making ever. Excerpted from Resin Alchemy, here’s Susan’s advice for using resin like glue with metal and all kinds of jewelry-making supplies.

Resin: A Wonder Glue for Connections

By Susan Lenart Kazmer, from Resin Alchemy

Resin is one of the best bonding glues for metal and other materials. It is possible to construct a whole piece and hold it together permanently using a cold-join (cold connection) attachment created by resin. You may want to wear gloves while applying it. If you do get a bit of resin on your skin, simply remove it with an alcohol wipe.

resin jewelry making by Susan Lenart Kazmer

Resin in Jewelry Making

The resin I use for resin jewelry making is an epoxy resin. This is absolutely the best type of glue for holding two pieces together permanently, regardless of what the materials are. Here are the basic points you’ll want to know about using resin for this practical purpose:

  1. Resin is stronger than regular jeweler’s glue for adhering surfaces of like or different materials. Also, ICE Resin isn’t toxic.
  1. Resin can be used to connect metal to metal. (If resin with this strength had existed 20 years ago, many of today’s professional jewelry makers would not have a prejudice against using glue.)

resin jewelry making by Susan Lenart Kazmer

  1. Although not always recommended, you can substitute resin gluing for soldering metal. All you need to do is apply a thin layer of resin to a clean, sanded surface. If you plan to oxidize the metal, you can do that after the resin dries.

4. To apply resin, use a toothpick. You can also use a toothpick to remove any excess resin before it dries. Just roll some sandpaper around the tip of the toothpick to create a handy sanding tool that will work well in hard-to-reach spaces.

  1. When you’re gluing metal with resin, place your piece in a vise to dry.
  1. If there are any resin gaps, simply add fresh resin to fill them, just as you would with other resin jewelry making.

–SLK

resin jewelry making by Susan Lenart Kazmer

5-Star Rated by You!

In Resin Alchemy, in addition to all of the techniques above, you’ll learn about resin jewelry making processes. This includes things like casting, heat transfer imagery, and basic resin jewelry making techniques. You’ll also learn things like embedding, crackling, surface alteration, using resin to strengthen fragile objects, casting resin, making resin hollow forms, cloisonné, and much more. You’ll be inspired by dozens of photos of beautiful resin jewelry, technique tutorials, and more than 10 complete resin jewelry making projects in this book.

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