Twelve things you need to stop doing with resin
In getting questions from resin crafters all over the world, there are a few things that can get me to give a good eye roll when I read a question. Call it a pet peeve, misunderstanding, mistake or something else, but there are a few things I wish people would STOP doing with resin. The one I thought about this week was—-
While I appreciate crafters trying out resin and thinking of new ways to use it, I wish people would stop thinking anything can be used as a resin mold. In addition to resin being great for surface coatings and casting three dimensional objects, it is a great adhesive. That means, you cannot use glass baking dishes, cookie trays, hard sided boxes, etc. as molds. Your resin will stick and your ‘mold’ isn’t flexible enough to release it.
I also asked some of my other resin friends what they wished people would STOP doing with resin. Here are their very insightful answers:
Stop putting the lids back on the bottles before wiping away the drips from the thread, especially when working with polyurethane resin. Apart from leading to messy bottles covered in resin (you don’t want to touch this with ungloved hands!), the hardener part will act like a glue and seal the bottle so tightly that you can’t get the lid off.
-Mylene Hillam, jewelry artist and resin blogger, Mill Lane Studio
I would like to see people stop being afraid to explore with resin. There is so much that it can do. I get so many questions asking if resin can do this or if resin can do that. I say do it. Try it, explore!
-Susan Lenart Kazmer, jewelry and mixed media artist, creator of ICE resin, susanlenartkazmer.com
My number one wish is that people would stop adding more hardener to their EliChem resins thinking the resin will cure quicker. The hardener component does not impact the speed of cure, it’s the amount of accelerator pre-blended into the resin component that determines the curing schedule. By exceeding the recommended mix ratio and adding more hardener, the user will overload the system and result in slower curing times, and in some cases non-cure at all.
-Aram Friedrich, President, EliChem resins
Stop trying to work with resin when it’s too cold (below 70F). Stop storing the resin and resin-related products (epoxy clay, liquid colourants, resin sprays, lacquer sprays) in a place that’s too cold or has variable temperature (like a garage that’s not insulated or heated).
-Kate Ledum, resinista at Resin Obsession, mixed media crafter and artist, Rijacki Design
I wish people would STOP using (polyester) casting resin as a coating product. I often hear from people that have used our polyester casting resin as a coating for a painting or a table. Polyester casting resin does not self-level and it has up to 7% shrinkage. This is fine when pouring it into a mold as it was intended, however it makes a horrible mess when used as a coating. Try an epoxy product to do your table, your bar top, or a painting. You will get much better results!
-Marty Sanchez, technical service specialist, Environmental Technologies, Inc.
Stop thinking resin and hardener ratios are not absolute. You have to use measuring cups when you mix resin. I pick up far too many gorgeous finished pieces that are sticky. That means the mix was not correct.
-Carmi Cimicata, resin blogger and mixed media artist, I Love Resin
Stop ignoring the directions! If they are followed there is almost always success. Under-mixing or going off-ratio are things that may typically give an unusable casting. Warming the resin will help it mix easier. Keep the caps on tight and place the bottles in a bowl of hot water. They will measure and mix easier.
-Carol Wedlake, technical service, Alumilite Corporation
Stop letting your mind wander during creative time. The mindfulness movement is in full swing currently and I admit I’ve jumped on the bandwagon, and so glad I did! I find that the ‘being present’ message that mindfulness teaches has been quite transformative in my life and I’ve started to bring it to my crafting. I am making more of an effort to enjoy the process of whatever I am doing at the moment and not rush to get to the end so much. With resin this has made me more curious and excited about the curing process instead of impatient. So enjoy the process, stop and think about why you started working with resin in the first place, why you continue to be passionate about it and be ‘in the moment’ as you work your way through your project. I bet you will enjoy it more!
–Penny Reid, Resin Obsession resinista
I wish people would stop mixing resin without reading and following the directions. All resins are not made the same and are not necessarily prepared the same. The directions are written by the manufacturer and nobody knows that product better than they do. Resin can be a little temperamental and it’s very tempting to take short cuts (not measuring carefully, not mixing enough, or not providing an adequate temperature). To be honest, when I started working with resin, I didn’t think being exact was all that important either. You quickly learn that nothing is more disappointing than going through the effort to make a great project and it stays sticky, or worse yet it never fully sets and you have to try and clean up that mess!
-Mona Schmitt, resin and mixed media crafter, Craft Klatch
Stop putting ‘wet’ leaves and flowers in resin. If you are going to put them in resin they must be bone dry. Otherwise the moisture will make the resin cloudy and the flowers and leaves can rot and discolour in the piece, which is not a good look.
–Claire John, resin artists and UK resin supplier, Resin8 UK
I wish resin artists would stop overlooking good art health and safety habits. Resin artists should take the time to educate themselves on safe use of materials and equipment so they can safely create the art they love so much. All resins, even those with low or no VOC’s, should be used while following proper health and safety practices. Read the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the resin you’re using for safety information. If you don’t find the SDS in the packaging, look on the manufacturer’s website.
–Becky Wanamaker, resin artist, fluid artist, Resin Obsession resinista, Becky Wanamaker on Instagram
What are some other things you need to stop doing with resin? (and I promise, we won’t judge!)