Thursday, November 19, 2009

My "Gold Storm" resin experiment

Years ago, when I was studying at the Institute of Precious Metals, I did a few experiments with casting resin and I realy wanted to work with this material again. Now, here in Denmark, that isn’t very easy due to the fact that you can’t buy Easy Cast or any other similar product. It has apparently been decided, that this product is too dangerous for the regular Jane Doe to work with.

That of cause isn’t stopping me I just had to find a similar product, sold as something else than “crafting material”. And I succeeded, with the help of a colleague, Lene Hald (see her amazing and very modern jewelry here She told me to buy epoxy glue (!), more specific Araldite 2020. Yay! Well, apart from the fact that this is an industrial product, impossible to buy in any DIY store, but is only sold by the industry. However, Lene had a connection, and so I drove (thank you Michael for borrowing your car) to northern Seeland in order to buy half a kilo of industrial glue from a factory producing plastic components.

And THEN it was time for my experiment! I created two sets of frames by bending narrow strips of silver sheet and soldering them closed.

Here they are, ready to be filled:

Then I set up for the casting: Cut out four squares of a plastic folder and treated them with four different agents to release my work again: (olive)oil, silicone (actually a make-up primer from Gosh), bees wax and molten stearine/candle wax. Here we have the entire line-up with the Araldite and the gold leaf that I was going to put into the resin in small pieces. This is genuine 24 carat and the color is stunning –just like the gold from the ancient Tut Anch Amun grave in Egypt. I love it!

Here I have poured into the stearine mold, which was the one that worked the best. The others of cause (doh!) leaked the resin and so had to be refilled when it was half hardened. So not only two resin-casting-processes, but also a LOT of tidying up afterwards! I guess I knew that –the stearine experiment shows it, but I was kind of hoping that the weight of the silver would be enough to keep the frame down –noooot!

I let the whole thing cure under a dust cover for 2 days and then used literally hours to cut off the spilled resin, file and sand down to make both sides absolutely level and smooth. The final result came out quite nice though:

So, what did I learn?

1. Loose frames have to be anchored and have a bit of walling unless I work in two rounds

2. Wax and stearine are a bit too messy to work with and leave some residue to be scraped off

3. Oil and silicone both work well

4. Use old fashioned play dough (the kind that doesn’t dry) for fixating and walling

5. Wait for 2 hours before pouring the mixed resin. It is very slowly drying and the small gold flakes will just fall to the bottom if the resin hasn’t started to cure just a little bit

It took way too long to create these earrings with all the renovating, but I’m still very satisfied with them and now know how to do it better the next time.

Would you like to buy these earrings? Do so here

No comments:

Post a Comment