Nov. 16th, 2016 10:29 pm
kerravonsen: Crafty: a medly of beads (craft)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
I have been experimenting with multiple types of resin!

Resin pendants and embellishments. Top row: all these were done with two-part epoxy resin, PearlEx mica powder, and then domed with UV resin and more mica powder. Bottom left: leaves made with layered UV resin and mica powder. Bottom centre: two-part epoxy resin and mica powder (no doming with this one). Bottom right: two-part epoxy resin, various brass beads, washers, and cogs, and golden mica powder; domed later with UV resin.

Last week, I grew impatient in regard to the arrival of the UV resin I'd bought from the US, and I just happened to see some Australian-made two-part epoxy resin (Liquid Gloss by Craft Smart), which was thus cheaper than the imported stuff like Ice Resin, so I bought some. Monday night, I VERY CAREFULLY made up a batch (the emphasis in tutorials on making sure you measure both parts EXACTLY, and making sure you mix EVERY BIT IN) and did some simple casting (using silicone rubber muffin baking things (you can't really call them "tins" if they aren't made of metal, can you?). I used large-holed beads to make a hole for the pendants(*) (hoping that they wouldn't fill with resin) and sprinkled in various colours of mica powder. Tuesday night, they weren't quite completely cured; they still could be dented a bit with a toothpick. This morning, they could still be scratched a little, but they were basically cured. Not as rock-hard as Bondic; the thinnest pendants could be bent a teeny bit, but I'm not worried because this resin apparently takes three weeks to reach full hardness. We'll see. The bead-holes varied in their success rate; none of them remained completely clear, but with some effort (and several broken toothpicks, a pair of snippers, and a paper clip) I was able to clear out the holes.

The make-a-hole-in-the-pendant-with-a-bead method actually ended up giving me some serendipity and ending up with my favourite pendant of the lot. I had made four pendants using large silicone muffin-things, but I had a silicone tray for mini-muffins standing by because I wasn't sure if I would have too much resin or not enough, and if I had too much, I must BE PREPARED beforehand - one of the other things emphasised in the tutorials I'd seen, was to PREPARE EVERYTHING ELSE before mixing the resin, because you wouldn't have time to get them once the resin was mixed and the clock was ticking for how long the resin was workable (aka the "pot time", which for this resin was supposed to be three hours). I did happen to have more resin than could be used by the large muffin containers, so I grabbed a brass bead and poured the remainder of the resin into one of the small muffin containers. And the resin was too deep for the bead, and it fell over and filled with resin. So I got another bead which was longer, to use for the pendant hole. But the original bead was still there. Should I attempt to fish it out, or leave it there? I hadn't intended to do inclusions yet (the tutorials said START SIMPLE) but since I already had an inadvertent inclusion, why not go for broke? So I grabbed more brass beads, and because brass made me think of Steampunk, I grabbed some of my faux watch-parts and some of my teeny-tiny real watch parts, and added them in too. Then I put a swirl of golden mica powder in, and realised that that meant that the pendant was backwards, with the big things at the front and the small things at the back. So I stirred it around a bit; not much, because the heavy brass beads just wanted to stay where they were.

When I de-moulded this one, with a bit of trepidation... I couldn't see the insides of it clearly, because the surface which touched the mini-muffin container, was frosted. This was a slight surprise, because the large-muffin pendants were transparent-glossy. It wasn't an error, because I was aware that it was common for this to happen, since The Tutorials (okay, I read a lot of articles from said that silicone moulds could vary as to whether the result was glossy (if the mould was very shiny) or matte (if the mould was smooth but not shiny). And along with this information, they gave the cure; you can turn the matte into gloss by adding a doming resin or by painting with a glossy top-layer.

So I figured I'd better get out the (by now arrived) UV resin (Lisa Pavelka Magic-Glos), using it to add a dome to the steampunky pendant.

Close up of Steampunky resin pendant. two-part epoxy resin, various brass beads, washers, and cogs, and golden mica powder; domed later with UV resin.

The UV resin worked wonderfully to make a window on the interior of the steampunky pendant. I had initially tried to put the UV resin on the sides as well as the top, but that ended up triggering a cascade of resin off the pendant. So I wiped it all off, and started over, just doing the top, figuring that I could do the sides later, using clear nail polish if need be. But I decided to keep the sides frosted, because it looks cool. I think I'm going to call it "Dreams of Brass and Steam". And I might keep it for myself, even though gold isn't my colour.

Since I had the UV resin out anyway, I thought I might as well add domes to some of the other two-part-resin pendants, and also just play with it by itself.

Mixed results. Oh yeah. The UV resin just did not want to cure. While the previous brands I'd used (Bondic, and Loon) were happy to cure under the light of my UV torch, the Magic-Glos would not cure at all under that UV torch. Fortunately, the sun started to come out, so I put the UV resin things outside in the sunshine. Even then, the results were mixed; doing just plain doming on the other pendants (or doming with just a bit of mica powder mixed in) worked fine, but my attempts at doing layered pendants were basically a disaster. Even the ones that worked, still had bits that hadn't cured. And there were other ones which cured fine except for the last layer, which cured on top but remained gooey underneath, which I discovered when I took them out of their moulds and they ooooozed on me. Gah! I'm wondering if that was because the sun was going down by that point, and the UV rays from the sun weren't strong enough? I've decided to buy a UV lamp after all, to see if that works better. If it doesn't, well, at least I can use the Magic-Glos for doming, which is what it seems to be most suited for. Having a UV lamp will be more convenient than opening the back door and plonking things on the back step.

One more picture:
The back side of three of the resin pendants; could be used as the front side if preferred. The golden mica swirls of the left and right pendants were done into the two-part epoxy resin when it was partially cured. The centre pendant had its silver swirling added afterwards with doming UV resin and silver mica powder

(*) A method I had used before with some success when making melty-bead pendants.

Date: 2016-11-16 06:36 pm (UTC)
watervole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] watervole
The steampunky one really does look good!

Date: 2016-11-22 03:45 pm (UTC)
infiniteviking: A smiling tiger. (3)
From: [personal profile] infiniteviking
Wow, those are amazing!

I've been meaning to try to work with resin but there's never seemed to be time. You're making me want to move it up on the priority tree. :)

Date: 2016-11-16 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oooh serendipity!

Date: 2016-11-16 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It another kind of magic!
BTW Lisa Pavelka sounds very Czech:-)

Date: 2016-11-16 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They look like gorgeous swirly planets, and the steampunk one is very cool.


kerravonsen: (Default)
Kathryn A.

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