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Plastic Jewels and Wearable Candy

Exploring the art of resin.

 

One of my first careers was as a jewelry designer and artist. I marketed my designs all over the world and experienced a modicum of success. While I sometimes worked in precious metals, one of my favorite and most popular mediums was epoxy resin. That's right, plastic.

Resin begins in a liquid form and cures within 48 hours into a hard, clear plastic. It's a great first medium for novice designers and hobbyists because of its easy use, accessibility and versatility. You can use resin on its own or combine it with metal work and gemstones.

 

Epoxy resin, readily available online and at many craft stores, comes in two bottles – the resin and the hardener. Once combined the liquid begins to set. Special resin molds are available but I experimented quite a bit with my own molds. Everything from silicon ice cube trays to plastic candy forms work well if you use a resin release spray. You can even make your own molds.

 

You can add resin dyes or acrylic paint to the resin in its liquid form if you want color. I like to leave it clear so I can embed items in the resin before it hardens. Candy sprinkles, paper embellishments (coated thoroughly in decoupage glue), and small stones all work well. Most anything works well, although paper and plant materials need sealed so they don't absorb the resin.

 

Resin is not perfectly safe. You must wear gloves and work in a ventilated area due to the fumes. It's even better to wear a respirator mask. Once the resin cures, there are no more fumes and your wearable art is safe and durable.