Adventures in Resin Art!
While I have been making various posts about my resin art progress on instagram, I thought I’d also create a blog post so everything is in one spot!
I’ve wanted to try my hand at making resin things for ages, but for a multitude of reasons I held back…. until now! Well. I bought the resin a couple of months ago, and I only started using it last week. So it took some internal encouragement to finally dive it.
Now, during my years of wanting to make resin things I’ve watched and read plenty of tutorials. More so once I finally had resin in hand to make sure I was really ready to get to mixing and making. And in everything I encountered, I never came across anyone who shared their process and progress from day one (which, I mean, is totally understandable), so I decided to do just that: share from the beginning.
My first batch of resin was made last week on January 22. Is that important to share? I don’t know, but there you go. I made a small batch and hoped for the best. While I knew to expect bubbles, and I knew that using a little kitchen torch could eliminate them, I had also read that a heat gun could work. And since I only had a heat gun on hand, that’s what I used.
While I am assured by my friends that the bubbles actually give these pieces character, at the same time: there are so many bubbles! I will give my friends that the bubbles look more natural and there don’t seem to be as many in the photos than in person…. there are so many bubbles. And even if the bubbles do give these pieces character, well, I want to learn to make resin with no bubbles. While I do want to make resin art pieces, I also want to make art coated in resin for a nice glassy glossy finish, and bubbles are not something I want to add on top of my art pieces I work so hard on!
So, on to batch number two. This time I decided to do some experiments with my heat gun. And oh how I wish I could say that things went well… but instead things went hilariously bad.
While it *is* possible to get rid of all the bubbles with a heat gun (and perhaps I wouldn’t run into the new problem on resin coated art since the heat gun wouldn’t need to be used as long), using a heat gun long enough to get rid of all the bubbles in my resin in the molds created this really weird texture in the one piece heated long enough to remove all bubbles… but the heat gave it a really weird consistency, and then it created a whole lot more bubbles (and dried wonky too).
Oh well, this process is all about learning right? And that’s where my new friend comes in….
It seemed like it was time to give in and get a torch. Little torches are pretty affordable, and when I decide to learn to make creme brulee it will have another purpose, so hello new friend!
So, of course my new friend would be super awesome, and be like “Why didn’t you want a new friend in the first place?” (Spoiler: I was secretly kind of afraid of using a torch, because I’m more of a mermaid than someone comfortable playing with fire. Lighting a candle? Ok, that’s one thing. Using a flame across art things? Yikes. But it’s ok, my torch and I have gotten to know each other and I am not scared of this little cutie anymore, but I am very careful. Safety first!)
With my new friend ready to help, resin tests #3 were underway. This time, my main goal was doing some various color tests… learning ratios and amounts to use for various effects. I tried a couple different brands, various colors, and metallics for samples.
Once again, a huge learning experience! While I did not fully eliminate bubbles (and I may have over-torched a bit and caused cloudy pieces, oops), I did learn what I was hoping to learn about color from this test! And after this test, I decided it was time to do some more research on making bubble-free resin. I did have the best results getting rid of bubbles from this test, thanks to my new torch, but there were some tiny bubbles I just. couldn’t. get. to. pop.
The big takeaway from my research? Try to prevent bubbles from forming in the first place. Which seems kind of duh, but there you go. So for my next resin, I decided to be really mindful and deliberate and delicate with my stirring, even taking a couple extra minutes to make sure both parts were fully mixed, in the hopes that this was the magical key to not have bubbles galore!
For my next resin project, I opted for a thinner mold, which surprising though it may be, it was so easy to get rid of all of the bubbles in no time at all! But I had a bit of an ink issue… in that it pooled a little too much in one corner, so that corner actually ripped apart when removing it from the mold today. Oops again.
Now, I’m not sure if the pooling happened when I moved it from my work desk to it’s drying spot… but either way, I’m looking forward (and feeling more motivated!) to finish my organizing and cleaning of my office, so that I can actually use my second desk as a dedicated work station for resin art and acrylic pouring… then I won’t need to move pieces at all after I make them until they are dry! But, I mean, I’ll probably also use a little less ink in the future.
I don’t have any more projects finished yet, but here’s what I started today:
With all of my new found knowledge from my research and experiments, I’ve put it all to good use and have some colorful stars curing right now! (Did I mention that resin is an exercise in patience? Because you need to wait at least 24 hours before removing anything from molds or touching it or whatever else) While I did have the oops here of overfilling one of the molds, I’m ok with that, because now I get to learn what happens when that occurs!
Not only is resin art super fun to make, I’ve really enjoyed the learning process so far. I can’t wait to share even more of my resin adventures in a future blog (because yes, there will be so much more resin)!