Sunday, November 9, 2014

Adventures in Resin Part I (or how I couldn't get my owls right)

It started with clock faces  - at least 60 years old, probably older
 If you guys haven't figured this out, I've amassed quite the collection of clock and watch parts so I can create pieces in my Mechanical Romance line with ease.  The problem is dealing with vintage materials you need to be careful with as some of it is fragile. 

The story of the owl necklaces begins with 2 vintage clock faces that are paper and thus rather fragile to use.  I have a bunch of these and I'm hesitant to use them because, well, paper isn't really sturdy enough on it's own to use.  I have a bunch of beautiful ceramic watch and clock faces I can use as well, but they are also fragile.  I've used a few of them, very carefully, and worried if creative sense overruled my sturdy design sense.  The upshot is I've used this materials sparingly,  and it's driving me crazy but cause they are soooo kewl! and I want to play with them.

So I've been thinking about how I can use them in beautiful and unique jewelry without damaging them or have them break when someone is wearing them.

The best answer seems to be resin.  I have nothing against resin, and I experimented with it 4-5 years ago.  It just didn't trip my trigger at the time.  I was heavily into wire wrapping, and didn't see any reason to play with it. 
Working on the design off and on for weeks.. I just couldn't get happy.  Here is an earlier design, which isn't the final configuration.

 But Resin can both seal and protect paper and has the added advantage I can use some of the most delicate watch parts and they too will be protected.  It opens up a huge avenue for design!

Finally happy! but I will need to use resin to keep everything together and seal the paper clock face in Notice the line of watch gears below the owl
Happy happy
Here is what I'm hoping to get done with 1 ounce of Resin..

I bought this 4, 5 years ago?will it still work??
 When you use a professional grade of resin ( such as Ice Resin) you need to mix it up in 1 oz or larger batches.  I figured if I have to mix it up I might as well have enough items to use it up so I didn't waste any.  I had some cash register keys that needed protection because they are going to be rings and would get more abuse than say earrings would.  I dug out some bracelet and necklace components from my first go around with resin, and even found 2 pendants I made back then that never properly domed. 
Alas, it mixed up just fine... but it's still yellow
 The thing is my resin bottle looked really, well yellow, and not in a good way.  I researched and the general consensus is that if when you mix the resin up and it turns crystal clear, you should be fine. If it doesn't lose the yellow color, you have a problem.   So I mixed it up, and well, it didn't turn clear, it just got a  lighter shade of yellow.   I decided I need to get new resin, but I was curious if it still worked ...
OH MY! it still works properly, but it's yellow...
yep, still worked great! the yellow has no bubbles, it 's hard as a rock.. it's just yellow.  I think I'll keep this for my next doctor's appointment....

There are some applications I want to try that yellow resin shouldn't hurt, and you can mix colorants in resin, so that might be a way to use up my yellow stuff.  I hate to waste anything !  But I didn't want yellow resin on my owl designs... so I had to get my hands on new resin asap.

I do have a few other types of resin but they don't cure into the rock hard resin that Ice does, so I didn't want to use them.  

I was able to find a small supply of Ice Resin locally.. next blog I'll show you what happens when you use clear resin!

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