No photographs just yet but I spent a huge amount of time over the weekend trying to weed through my bucket of nearly complete pieces and get them ready to be strung. I love some of the newer molds but unless you do something with the surface of things like Hello Kitty, you can’t make out her face at all. So I was busy painting and adding color to some pieces. I also collaged some of my steampunk basic shapes resin pieces. I really love the way they turned out. I also completed another tree pendant. It started out life as a slightly grey transparent piece and turned into a beautiful happy tree scene complete with swing and the saying Live-Love-Laugh. Anyway, I did do a video. Not the greatest lighting in this video but you can still see some of the pieces. Next step, wire wrap and pictures.
Premade purchased molds are wonderful. I absolutely love them but what if you have a hand-shaped item or something with tremendous detail that is all your own? Mold putty is wonderful but it has its downfalls. It doesn’t get into crevices well and doesn’t show high detail. The only option is to move on to liquid silicone. There are a lot of them out there. I started pouring my own after I saw a Martha Stewart video using Smooth-On Oomoo. It is a silicone that does not require a vacuum chamber and is a beginner type silicone. You can purchase it from the Smooth-On website but after researching found that it was cheaper to purchase the starter kit from Dick Blick on sale or with a coupon and you get the trial size of their Smooth Cast resin with it. Here is a link to the trial kit on Dick Blick’s website. Or if you just want to purchase just the Oomoo, here is a link to just it.
When I purchased my vacuum chamber, I moved up to a heavier duty silicone called Smooth-On Moldmax 27T which is a semi-translucent silicone with a much tougher tear strength. Pouring silicone is not rocket science but there is a learning curve. I think the most important aspect is preparing your piece and making sure you have a tight bond with the base of the pour surface. It is also important to realize that what you put into it equates to what you will get out if it. If you mold a dirty piece, your mold is going to pick up all the imperfections so it is important to clean all pieces. I recently did a video showing how I prepare my molds. Following the preparation video, is a video of me pouring the molds. I am sure there is a superior way to do this but this is what has worked for me and seems to work.
I first want to start off by saying that the only way to truly have a long lasting finished surface for your resin piece is to use nothing but hand polishing your piece or re-glossing it with resin. While using items like Triple Thick or Glossy Accents will last for quite some time, because they are a softer material they wear off or get dinged. Using the earlier methods, like those tables at Sonny’s BBQ, your resin pieces will look nearly the same. Just look at the pieces from the 60’s and 70’s. However, some of the pieces you will be making aren’t high end pieces and some aren’t made for wear and tear situations. No one expects a $10 glittery sticker style piece to last for 5+ years and pieces made for stuff like scrapbooking just won’t get that much wear and tear.
This is not the “best” fix but a quick fix for those wanting to finish out those sanded edges on an otherwise perfect resin piece. Adding a little Diamond Glaze or Glossy Accents to your finger and just rubbing it over the sanded edge will gloss up the piece and hide those edges. The glosses dry very quickly especially in thin coatings so be sure that you keep your finger just slightly damp and clean any strayed glaze immediately.
This technique is also helpful for rescuing a piece that has stray Dremel marks. Its not always easy to control the Dremel tool and it slips off the end and gashes your piece. The same technique as above is used for this. It is better to spot fix a shiny resin piece than to entirely coat your piece in a gloss. If your un-coated resin is already nice a glossy, it should stay that way for a long time. Anyway, like always, a video is worth 1,000 words.
There are so many beautiful, highly detailed brass, bronze, and silver charms being sold nowadays. Most are quite large and don’t need anything additional to stand on their own other than a matching chain. Sometimes more is not better. You can though enhance the look without taking anything away from the piece. The majority of charms being sold are not solid bronze or brass and true glass enameling is not possible because they cannot withstand the high temperatures required to melt the powdered glass. Cold enameling is your next best choice and is quite durable, cheaper than glass enameling, and your choice of colors is limitless.
- Resin – Long working time is a must. Envirotex, Famowood, Easy Cast, etc.
- Powdered Pigments – Pearl-X mica powders or even powdered eye shadow. I would recommend against liquid colorants as it is best not to change the chemical properties of the resin for this process.
- Mixing sticks and some sort of applicator – I use a plastic palette spatula and a paintbrush.
- Palette for mixing – plastic is better.
Even though resin is liquid, it is not water. It is a much thicker substance and the surface tension is your friend especially for a project such as this. There is an art to applying resin to a surface with no boundaries. You want to apply enough to cover the surface and dome it a little bit but too much and you will break the surface tension that is created keeping your resin in place. It takes practice.
Below is a video I did cold enameling some pendant pieces and hope that it will give you some ideas you can take and run with.
This is my first post on this blog. I so wished that I had my complete blog and years and years worth of posts but unfortunately there was no saving it. I have waited far to long to re-instate this. More than an introduction, I really think your first post should state something about you. I am not really a conventional person when it comes to art and always like to stand on the edge using newer products and technologies. I always like to try the unconventional supplies that you would not expect to apply into art, this being one of them.
Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty is a gypsum-based powder that becomes very hard when mixed with water. It never shrinks and has great bonding strength. It is normally used to fill holes and patch items but has been used by artists for some time. Below is a few videos of this project start to finish along with photos of the completed piece so you can see better.