collage / paper craft, cross stitch, jewelry, resin

Resin Jewelry – part 1

Last winter I was inspired to try making pendants. I wanted to make tiny collages under resin.  With a limited amount of time before Christmas (I’d decided to make these as gifts for my sisters and mom), I failed to even figure out where to buy resin, let alone how to work with it.  So I just coated that first round with super glue.  There is a specific brand that comes with a brush in the cap (the way rubber cement or nail polish is), making the application very easy.  This seemed to work fine and it looks really cool, but in a more bohemian sort of way instead of the classy look I wanted from resin.

Dream necklace with super glue overlay
A rather poor quality photo of one of my first attempts with super glue overlay instead of resin

In the spring, I did a bit more research and started pouring resin jewelry.  My favorite thing about making these is that each is a tiny work of art, a little bitty miniature illustration of… well, whatever’s on my mind.  There’s a lovely design aspect involved and a pretty quick sense of accomplishment.  Being particularly fond of fiber handicrafts, my first desire once I got my hands on some resin was to imbed tiny little cross stitch images in it, so I worked up several miniature cross stitches and a few baby collages to test out my first resin pour.

My first batch of pendants prior to pouring resin.

I tried two open back bezels.  They have no back, so you can see all the way through (in the photo above, they are the purple skull and brown heart).  I’d read that you can poor these by putting clear contact paper (or probably opaque/patterned for all it matters) on the back and making sure it has a good seal, so I set both of the open backs up with contact paper.  I also found that the attached bale on the purple skull piece was large enough that it caused the bezel to not lay flat, so set it up on a thin book prior to pouring.

My first experimental resin pendants after a fresh pour

You can use a variety of manners to apply the resin:  paint brush, sponge, and so on.  I found that it was easiest to control the resin for bezels by using an oral syringe.  I buy these in the pharmacy section of my local store.  They’re usually kept in the same area as baby thermometers.  Be careful with the plunger though, as it’s very easy to get a good squirt if not being careful and you don’t want to overfill the bezels.  The ones above, I domed in a single pour, but I’ve read that you can create better/higher domes by doing a first flatter pour followed by a second domed pour after initial drying.

As it turned out, when I peeled the contact paper off the open back bezels, it left an ugly fogginess on the back side.  There didn’t seem to be a residue, but I tried wiping it clean with Goo Gone anyway without any successful result.  I then tried a fine grain sandpaper on one to see if I could sort of buff it out, which didn’t work too well either, although it did smooth the fogginess with more consistency, evening out the pattern that the contact paper had left.  Following the sandpaper attempt, I reached out to a friend who had used resin.  Although she’d never done open back bezels, she’d heard that pouring or painting another coat of resin over it should clear it up fine (and that I should definitely not sand it… oops).  So that’ll be the next step with these two experimental pieces.  We’ll see if we can salvage them.

2 thoughts on “Resin Jewelry – part 1”

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