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Guest Blog: Rachel and her Resin Adventure

August 11, 2014 , In: General, Guest Features, Inspiration, Mixed Media
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Today we have guest blogger Rachel Baron sharing her first attempt at resin. Enjoy! Jen

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If you’re anything like me, you probably have a million different crafting gadgets, gizmos and set-ups that you will never find time to use…but you still *need* them, so you just keep telling yourself someday you will learn to make Siberian Jewel-Studded Knitted Longjohns. (Disclaimer: I have no idea if those are even a thing, so if they are I apologize to any creators of Siberian Jewel-Studded Knitted Longjohns for being sarcastic.)

One of the creative endeavors I have had forever is Ice Resin. I bought a kit a couple years back with the idea of making a necklace for my cousin who had released her first EP. I figured a nice resin pendant with her cover art would be something she would love. And she would. If I would ever make it. Which I’m doing. Right now, with all of you.

First, I printed out a copy of the album art. Since I have an ink jet printer, I knew I’d have to seal the image. I also knew I had mod podge somewhere, but in the vortex of my supplies area, it was no where to be found. I did find some Vintaj Glaze Metal Sealer. However, this stuff was meant to be used on metals, not paper. But I’m a trailblazer, so I forged ahead and prayed it wouldn’t turn the image into a giant ink smudge. It didn’t.
Then, I had to carefully trim the image. Here’s where you learn a little more about me: I’m not a precise artist. I’m more of a mad scientist. To sit and carefully trim an image s-l-o-w-l-y is a creative torture. But I made it through–not perfect, but through. You can probably see that it was a smidge too wide to sit completely flat in the bezel, but I was afraid my next trim job would be a hack job, so I went with it.

Next was mixing the resin. The kit had these cool little measuring cups that have the fluid ounces marked. But since I am 40+ those little lines were almost invisible. So here’s a handy tip: make a couple of dashes with a Sharpie Marker to help you out.
The Ice Resin comes in a Part A and a Part B that you mix together. I squeezed the Part A of the resin, and thought, “Wow, this is thick stuff!” Then I realized I had to snip the tip off the dispenser. Who reads directions? I added equal part of the Part B, which is the hardening agent. Easy enough!

I stirred the resin for the required 2 minutes (see I did read some of the directions), and I have to admit, I was alarmed by the number of bubbles. I hoped they would somehow work themselves out, otherwise I would have a cloudy pendant.

Next, was time to pour. I did a little at a time until I got a feel for the viscosity of the resin. Then I realized the surface I was working on wasn’t quite flat! I tried to gently lift the paper I had been working on to move the filled pendant to flat quarters…and dumped the pendant–and resin– all over my shirt.

But a true professional never panics, so I just up and fled to my other work station and was able to salvage the piece. Somewhere along the line I lost one of my sandals, it was that intense.

The finished pendant turned out great, despite my goof-ups! There were no bubbles, as I feared, and it was incredibly easy to work with–once you follow directions and actually prepare yourself properly!

When I do more pieces (which I will, this was a practice run), I will do a few at a time. You have to mix at least a half ounce to get the Ice Resin to cure, and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, I could have easily made about 4 or 5 pendants out of that. The Ice Resin only will sit for 45 minutes, so you can’t save the rest for later.

Now that I have tried the resin, I can move on to one of the other myriad of supplies and tools that are haunting my work table. The only question is, what’s next?
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You can read more by Rachel on her Blog and shop for her beads and jewelry on Indiemade and Etsy.

Jennifer Cameron

Combining fire and glass since 2005, Jen Cameron discovered jewelry making after realizing a small child could disappear in the growing collection of beads sitting around the house. Jen is the adoring mother of two, jackpot winner in the husband category, and zookeeper of several pets. Jen is also the instigator for bringing together this team of innovative, talented, passionate and dynamic women to write for Art Jewelry Elements.
  1. Reply

    its nice that you finally got around to working with resin. There is so much that you can do with it – its an mixed media artists' best friend. Try experimenting with glitter, sequins or yarn

    • Reply

      I can't wait to try to make an amped-up piece, Divya! Resin really does open a number of creative doors–glad I finally got around to trying it, too!

  2. Reply

    a heat gun will zap any bubbles remaining after you pour……and Yes I have had the level issue 🙂 now I always pour on waxed paper just in case

    • Reply

      Waxed paper sounds like a great idea! I might have to steal that one from you! 🙂

    • Reply

      I prefer the lit match to the heat gun. I'd end up sloshing the resin out and blowing cat hair in!

  3. Reply

    LOL, sounds like you work just the way I do, Rachel! And I too have an ice resin kit lurking – your brilliant article has encouraged me to *find* it and have a go too (if it hasn't "gone off" by now)! Thank you so much for an entertaining and inspiring read 🙂

    • Reply

      Definitely do, Erika! I'm just glad this blogging opportunity forced me to finally try the resin! I had the kit for two years, so I don't know if it really goes bad? Have fun with it!

    • Shel
    • August 11, 2014
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    Your article just cracked me up!! Glad your pendant turned out good after all that. I too have some ICE Resin in a cabinet that's got to be at least 2 years old – at least I know it will still be good, should I get around to trying it out this year! 😉

  4. Reply

    Great post Rachel, I have a similar style of working, you got fantastic results though!

  5. Reply

    Losing your sandal made me laugh out loud!
    Glad it worked well for you! I adore ICE resin and use it in every crazy way I can concoct. Fellow mad scientist – here.
    Did you wait 5 min after mixing? Thats a tip to help let bubbles dissipate. I love the lit match method too, but I like fire.

    Next you will start resin coat in paper, and there will be no going back…
    Thanks for taking us on the ride!

  6. Reply

    This gives me a little more confidence to try Ice Resin–you make it seem so easy!

  7. Reply

    I always get a bit frazzled when working with resin, too! It's that time-crunch-factor-thing!…tho there is ample time to work if I would prep myself better, ahead of time! Did you find your sandal?!..your post brought a smile to me face! 🙂

  8. Reply

    I am so glad you took the plunge and wrote about it. I bought an ice resin kit about a year ago and still haven't had the courage to mix it up. I think I can give it a try now, especially with your helpful tip about marking the mixing cup. I love the mad scientist reference. I am not a precise artist either. I admire it in others, but I lack the patience.

  9. Reply

    A fun and refreshing voice! It was a treat to read of her process as 'mad scientist'… I feel we are kindred spirits! Enjoy the day. Erin

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