As you know we love having people over to play at It's a creative world and today we are joined by the lovely and uber-nimble fingered Jaffne.
I am totally in awe of Jaffne and her work so I shall hand you straight over to the lady herself.
My first craft-love (every since picking up a 5,000 strip pack and a Dryad leaflet as a 10 year old) is quilling. And I like to see how I can combine an ancient paper craft with more modern materials, so I’ve dabbled a bit with resin, and hope when you see what you can do that you feel inspired to play too!
What you’ll need:
- Shallowcast resin
- Mixing container, with measurements on side if possible
- Mixing stick
- Heatproof mould (a specific shallowcast resin mould is best for this, but I’ve also experimented with ice cube trays and laboratory ‘dimple’ dishes)
Be aware, the mixing container and stick will get coated in resin and it may be impossible to remove, so don’t use your best equipment!
- Plastic dropper
The resin will give out a lot of heat when it’s setting, so be aware that whatever mould or container you use will need to be heatproof. So no thin plastic moulds, unless you want melted mould and resin running all over the place!
Before you start, make sure that your work area is well covered, either with paper tissues, or some fabric that you’re happy to have resin embedded in for eternity. You might also want to consider wearing an apron over your clothes for the same reason – at least using it for this justifies my ownership of one!
Also, the resin mixing and curing process gives out a lot of fumes, which can be toxic. Only do this in a well ventilated area, which you can keep children and animals well away from!
Prepare the materials you want to embed by checking they’ll fit into the moulds – not only in width, but in depth. Bear in mind that the resin will be put into the moulds in two stages, and you will lose a small amount of the depth of the mould to the first layer. Once you’re sure your items will fit easily, you can start mixing the resin.
Following the instructions on the resin, add the catalyst to the appropriate amount of resin, and mix carefully. Try not to introduce too many air bubbles into the resin mix, as they can be difficult to get out. When mixed, pour into the moulds you’ve selected for use. At this stage, you only want a small amount in the mould, to form a thin front on the final item. This thin layer will prevent the embedded bits and bobs from poking through the front surface, or all lying against the front, rather than ‘floating’ in the middle. If you find you have a lot of bubbles, tap the mould gently to encourage them to float to the surface, then using a lighter or match, hold this over the surface until the bubbles pop. The heat from the lighter makes the air inside the bubbles expand and pop!
Cover the moulds to prevent dust getting into the resin and leave to set. My resin instructions say for 15 minutes, but I found it was still tacky after that time, so I left the resin to set for 30 minutes.
Lay the pieces you want to embed on top of the dried resin in the moulds. Remember that you’re viewing the back of the piece, so put the front surface of the pieces face down, so the backs are facing you.
Mix another lot of resin, and pour into the moulds. If you find bubbles are a problem, use the lighter or match as detailed above. At this stage you can also put material on the back to provide a background. Tissue and crepe paper are good, but be aware that crepe paper leaks faint streams of colour into the resin. This can be a fun effect all by itself!
Cover the mould to stop dust getting in and leave overnight (resisting the temptation to touch it to check if it’s set!), and when set, turn mould upside down and tap / knock to make the resin piece drop out. They can be reluctant to leave the mould, so when I say ‘tap’, you might have to interpret that as ‘whack hard’ ;)
When you have the completed pieces, there’s lots you can do with them. Drill holes for necklaces and earrings, attach to ring mounts to make rings, glue them onto surfaces as they are, lightly sand them for a seawashed, slightly opaque surface…what you do with them is only limited by your imagination - have fun!
And…things DO go wrong with this: my first attempts have quite a lot of bubbles in them. I’m happy enough with this (you’ll almost always end up with some amount of bubbles), but I’d advise practicing this a few times before embedding anything you’d be heartbroken about if it didn’t work out!
Wow, these are just fabulous, Jaffne, thank you so much for coming to play.
We'd love to see anything our readers come up with so please leave us a linkie dink and we'll pop by. You know how nosey we are.