Resin casting tricks
One of the neat things about resin is that while many people create things with resin, almost everyone has a different way of doing things. Over the course of time, many of us have found our own resin casting tricks to help us get the end results we want. I recently asked a few of my favorite resin crafters and manufacturers what their favorite resin casting tricks were to share with readers.
Got a large open-backed bezel that packing tape won’t cover? Try using contact adhesive instead. It has a bit more stick than packing tape so you might find that some sticky residue is left behind. Here’s three ways to make light work of cleaning it off:
o Place the item in the freezer for half an hour. This can help the tape release more easily, leaving behind less gummy residue;
o Gently rub it off with methylated spirits (denatured alcohol); or
o Spray it with WD-40 lubricant and gently rub with the pad of a finger. Clean up with paper towel to remove any greasiness, before washing it clean.
-Mylene Hillam, jewelry artist and resin blogger, Mill Lane Studio
My favorite trick (albeit a costly extra step) is to mix a batch of resin and then pour it into a bottle that has a yorker cap. The cap gives me much more control putting resin where I want it without dealing with drips and overpours when using a cup and stick.
This one is kind of a stumper because I have a few favourites! Marbling is fun and creates neat effects. Brushing powdered pigment in moulds yields really cool effects. Liquid resin on a curved surface is tricky hard to do but is a super cool effect. Using texture tiles and cookie cutters with Silly Putty is fun because it can be so unique. ARGH! I think my favourite trick is the one I have most recently used that makes me smile when I see the final result and it meets or exceeds my expectations. This does mean that my favourite trick changes when I work on a new project with a different technique, but that’s okay. I like doing a lot of different things. If only one thing was my favourite, I would likely do it too much and then not like it as much.
-Kate Ledum, resinista at Resin Obsession, mixed media crafter and artist, Rijacki Design
Baby powdering and warming the silicone rubber mold up before casting resins are by far my favorite tricks as the baby powder releases the surfaces tension of the silicone rubber eliminating air bubbles and the temperature helps the resin cure faster!
-Carol Wedlake, technical service, Alumilite Corporation
I actually don’t know which one to choose!!
I hate bubbles as everyone does! I always heat my resin before mixing, then I vacuum the resin, then I pour it very slowly into the mold. I have a tooth pick handy to remove bubbles caught in corners.
Then depending on the project I might put the filled mold into the vacuum again. After that I have a creme brulee torch which I use to zap the remaining bubbles.
Another thing I do is set up more molds and projects than I need, as I hate to waste resin! So sometimes i get a little extra pair or earrings made or a ring!
-Linda Carmichael, resin jewelry artist, Ruby Bijou
Always have gel alcohol hand sanitizer on hand and baby wipes when working with resin. It is the best stuff to help get resin off you or anything else you may accidentally get resin on. Easy trick but totally worth it!
-Ellen Anderson, resin artist, @EllenAndersonArt
When using a plastic mixing jug don’t try to clean the leftover resin with solvents afterwards. Just leave it to set overnight with the mixing stick standing up in the container.
The next day simply pull the cured resin mass out using the stick. The whole mass will come out like a skin, leaving the container clean and ready for use again.
-Aram Friedrich, President, EliChem resins
I think my best tip for working with resin is to warm it up, especially if you are in colder climates. Warm – not hot! It mixes better and it keeps the bubbles down too!
-Mona Schmitt, resin and mixed media crafter, Craft Klatch
The trick I would like to share is one I just shared with one of our customers. After doing her project yesterday she realized this morning that she spilled epoxy resin on her glass table top. I shared the following: Place boiling hot water on and old towel or rag and place it over the epoxy; then wait a few minutes and use a putty knife or another flat tool to gently get up under the epoxy and pop it off. This works like a charm. It needs to be a hard surface that water will not damage.
-Marty Sanchez, technical service specialist, Environmental Technologies, Inc.
Learn when the soft cure time of your resin happens. There is much you can do during this time should you have made a mistake. I found this out when I was doming resin and went back later to check my pieces. The resin was so syrup-y, I couldn’t get the microbubbles to pop. Instead, I pushed them over the side of my piece. Once the resin had cured to where it was rubbery, I found out I could peel it right off! Now, when I drip resin over the sides of my bezels and such, I don’t panic. I set a timer to go back in so many hours and peel the resin off. Anytime I don’t have to sand off excess resin is a win!
(You can see how to do this at left.)
-Katherine Swift, resin blogger, author and proprietor, Resin Obsession
What other resin casting tricks do you have?