I'm somewhat familiar with resin arts and crafts. I used resin once to encase family photos in pendants and charms for gift giving. Another familiar use is to use it to cast non-porous items such as stones and coins.
However, after viewing an exhibit at a local gallery, I was totally blown away by its many uses in the arts and crafts arena. To give you an idea of the many uses for resin, I've posted a few online links to artist and crafter websites:
- Deborah McDermott - Horse Sculptures: This artist works in both ceramic and resin for her sculptures. Looking at side-by-side comparisons of the two different mediums, it is truly amazing how much detail is obtained.
- Alisa Burnette - Mixed Media (blending metal, handcrafted papers, and resin):This link includes a question and answer session with the artist that is very helpful for the beginner resin enthusiast
- Brooks Salzwedel - Pencil Drawings: This artist's lovely artwork is made by sandwiching elements between semi-transparent layers of resin. This creates a dreamy effect that the elements are floating. The artist likens this process to pressing leaves or flowers.
Learning How to Use Resin
After reviewing those links, you can see resin epoxy is a very useful arts and crafts tool that goes beyond typical pendant and charm applications. If you want to get your feet wet using resin, I do recommend you tackle a simple jewelry-making project first. Then after you are more familiar with resin you can experiment with it to make it your own.
Resin Safety Issues
First of all, always read the manufacturer's product safety publication that comes with the product. Once they dry, most two-part resins are nontoxic. Always read the specifically tailored Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that comes with the resin you purchase to make sure. You can also check out the US Consumer Product Safety Arts and Crafts website.
Here are some basic resin safety tips:
- Always use resin in a well-ventilated area.
- Avoid contact with skin and eyes by wearing safety glasses or goggles and latex or vinyl gloves.
- Protect all work surfaces from damage by working over newspaper, wax paper or a drop cloth.
Resin Tools and Supplies
Except for the clear casting epoxy and molds, which are pricey, the tools are pretty inexpensive and can be purchased at a dollar store or the like. With the exception of molds and resin epoxy, purchase the essential tools and supplies on the cheap since cleaning resin epoxy off the tools is a major pain. Because of this, you'll most likely be throwing them away after use.Here's your shopping list:
- Plastic mixing cups: Don't use waxed coated cups. Inexpensive plastic cups can be purchased from most grocery, party or dollar stores. Two are needed for each casting session. Most casters dispose of the cups when they are through since cleaning the resin from the cups is very difficult.
- Black marker: The plastic cups will be turned into mixing cups by pouring pre-measured water into the plastic cups. Fill a measuring cup with various amounts of water and pour it into the plastic cup. Then, use the black markers to mark off an eighth, quarter, half, etc cup on the side of the plastic cup.
- Wood stir sticks: Thin dowels or any other craft-type cheap wooden stick. These will also have to be thrown away at the completion of the project.
- Wax or plastic paper: Remember my safety precautions? Make sure to protect your work surface.
The next page provides information about molds you can use and instructions on how to make your own resin pendant or charm.
The charm image on this page is a mini-version of The Scream by Edvard Munch set in resin and is available for sale on Amazon.com.