Thursday, May 29, 2008

Resin attempts

Dear Shayne,

After going on and on yesterday about the amazing work of John W. Golden, I guess I should show you my own attempts at pouring resin, right? Weeellll... I'm not up to John's standards yet, that's for sure.

In summary: My friend Hollie and I tried it out, learned a lot, scrapped most of it, and are looking forward to our next attempt.

In the meantime, I'd say my best piece is this little chunk o' buttons heart:
Resin heart

No idea what I'll do with it. I used heart-shape ice cube trays from IKEA. It's cute, but far from perfect -- the release that we sprayed in the bottom of the mold (it's like Pam non-stick spray, but for resin) pooled and left pocks in many areas. Here's a hint on how bad it is: this photo looks blurry, but it's not -- it's the crappy texture of my resin. So I learned something with that one.

I also made this little "sewing shrine" out of an old measuring cup. It's difficult to see, but there are two resin layers in there: one of buttons, then one with a miniature dressform and a safety pin through a scrap of fabric:
Resin sewing shrine

I read somewhere that you can get rid of the bubbles in the resin by using a lighter near the surface while it's still wet. Unfortunately, I forgot the part about not getting too close because resin is flammable. We did have a moment of excitement as I said, "Oh. It's on fire!" (which caused poor Hollie's husband to whip around in fear), but I was able to put it out pretty quickly. If you click through to the bigger version of that photo, you can see that some of the buttons look "smoky." That's where the fire was. Oops. Another lesson learned.

I think that particular piece needs more layers. I would like to find more small sewing related items to put in there and give it at least twice the depth it has right now.

This last one was supposed to be a gift for Jenny (Hi, Jenny!) but I'm not thrilled with it:
Resin Q

It doesn't look too bad in this photo, but I forgot that curved surfaces distort, so the Scrabble tile looks oddly stretched in the middle. My plan was to put an eye screw into the top of it and make a pendant. I'll probably ruin it when I try that, so I may attempt this one again next time we try this activity.

All in all, we had a good time with our first attempt. We certainly learned a lot (both from our experiences and from John's video), so we'll try again soon. Stay tuned!



SisterDG said...

I love the button heart! I've wanted to try resin for ages, but fear it...

kelly said...

SisterDG, what's to fear? Just do it! :)

I'll admit that I've put this off for a long time myself. And my first attempts were not great. But I'm going to get back on the horse and try again -- you should too!

JenniferNabers said...

Hee!!! I love the very *idea* of a Q necklace. Darrell will laugh ;-)

I miss you, especially after seeing the Sex and the City movie. I also forgot my cell phone in the car if you are going to return my weepy "I miss you" message.


Shayne said...

Those are great for your first time! Seems like everyone who wants to try resin is afraid of it. Is it very fume-y?

kelly said...

It was pretty darned fume-y. I have a face mask that has filters and I couldn't really smell it, but I took it off one time ( blow out the flames) and it was not great.

We did it outside, so it wasn't completely unbearable. But not great. I'd recommend the mask.

Wexfordgirl said...

They look great! Will you be able to take the layered piece out of the measuring cup? How? I'm curious.

kelly said...

Thanks, Wexforgirl! To answer your question, I am not going to take that piece out of the measuring cup; my intent was to leave it in there and hang the whole thing up (so the cup would be sort of a "frame.")

Meanwhile, if I had intended to remove it from the cup, I could have sprayed release into the cup and then popped it out when the resin was set. Some of our other forms were quite rigid and that worked fine. Hope that answers your question!

kelly said...

Sorry, Wexfordgirl -- after I posted that comment, I realized I had a typo in your name. Shame on me!

Meanwhile, I now miss the feature that Blogger used to have where we could edit our own comments. Can't do that anymore, so I'm posting a correction!

amy said...

resin can be so fun, and it can also be so damn frustrating!

just fyi, you probably didn't need the mold release on the ikea tray. i've used their rubbery trays as well as regular stiff trays, and the resin pieces pop out of both. if you ever have resin not coming out, just run a bit of water on them and stick them in the freezer - the water expands as it freezes and pops them right out!

i love resin, i've played around with a bunch of it (though i'm not sure if i've ever posted it on my blog!). unfortunately, the weather here sucks for it, it's rarely dry enough!