I was curious about resin for a long time, and from the moment I bought my first ounce and started experimenting I was hooked for life. I really enjoy creating resin jewelry and I think it’s because of the uniqueness of each piece. This is a medium where I can create little stories and pieces of art for customers to really enjoy, and wear knowing that no one else will ever have one exactly like it.
When I made my first few pieces, I wasn’t really sure how people would react to them. I thought maybe the “little stories” I pieced together wouldn’t be anyone else’s cup of tea, but I have gotten such an amazing response to these pieces! I always try to share a little bit of the process with people so they’ll get excited that the items they are purchasing really are one of a kind and special. So I thought I would share a little peek at the process here with you today.
I tend to create very intuitively, meaning I rarely spend time meticulously planning the finished product, rather, I get all of my materials in front of me and see what speaks to me. Very groovy and unscientific I know, but that’s really how it works for me. I start with a scrap of paper or inclusion or beads that I like at the moment and my process takes over, mixing and matching until I feel like something has come together and works.
One thing to keep in mind if you are planning to play with resin too; here I am using molds which are great, but remember that you’re working upside down. The “flat” side that is closest to you is going to be the back of your piece. The curve in the mold is what is going to be the front, viewed side of your work. So if you’re working with one sided inclusions or objects, make sure you’re placing them in the molds upside down. When I use bezels it’s like working on a tiny canvas and I layer up just like I would with any collage work.
Resin doesn’t stay workable for an incredibly long time, so I have learned to plan my process with the pouring. I always set several pieces up at once, and do my best to make sure I only mix up what I need at the moment. (For my next step here I mixed and used a total of 1/4oz) You’ll also notice there are bits and pieces off to the sides of some of the molds. This is because they will be placed in the molds on my second pouring.
I have found that patience is the key to this whole process. I never literally pour the resin into the molds or bezel cups. A little goes a surprisingly long way. Here I am using a plastic stir stick that comes with an Ice Resin kit, along with measuring cups. I drip the resin carefully around all of my little pieces just until they’re covered. Pouring too much will result in those little bits floating around wherever they please, and you really can’t stop them at that point. Once this first layer is dry, I add any other inclusions, sparkles or paper that I want to “float” behind this first layer. (A tip on paper: I coat the paper in my resin cup before placing it in the mold to help prevent bubbles.) Sometimes I will even add a third layer depending on the design. Each resin layer takes anywhere from 12-24 hours to cure completely, and I have felt the pain of trying to touch it too soon!
Once I’m sure that the pieces are all completely set, I simply flip the tray over and pop them out. There are always some sharp feeling edges on the sides, so I take a nail file and smooth them out a bit. After that they are ready to become pendants or earrings.
Thanks for taking a peek at my resin process! If you are playing with resin too, or thinking about it, I hope you got a few tips here as well. 🙂 And please feel free to share a tip or photo of something you’ve created in the comments!