Saturday, September 14, 2019

New Obsession: Resin Art

With my recent Josie Lewis obsession, I came across her resin artwork about a month or so ago and thought it looked so cool and fun. She makes resin "petri" - a resin disc the size of a petri dish that is colored and altered by alcohol ink. The colors are vibrant and the textures make each piece look like a little world of its own. I knew it would be fun to play with, but didn't have the time or money to go for it then. Flash forward to my birthday. For my birthday each year, my family always asks me specifically what I want - I guess it comes with age, lol. Since I haven't been able to do many of my usual hobbies (and the fact that I have so much sewing and knitting stuff that I'm purging it right now), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get the supplies and give resin art a try :)

I started watching all the videos that Josie Lewis has put up about resin and I also came across @artsymadwoman who has more detailed videos about the process. I amassed a list of supplies and one Amazon order later, I was ready to roll :) I got Art Resin, silicone molds, alcohol inks, a torch, and random things like plastic mixing cups and popsicle sticks and set to work.
This was my set up the first time I tried it out. I covered my cutting table with paper just to protect the surface from ink and resin (which was a good idea, lol). I mixed the resin, poured in the molds, waited for the bubbles to rise and popped them with a torch (my torch is way more powerful tan I am used to and this will take some practice), and then started dropping in alcohol ink. The secret to this technique is Piñata brand white alcohol ink. It is more dense than the colors and it pushes the colors into the resin, making the cool textures inside.
Here is a bit of a step by step with my first ever petri. I started off with 2 just so I didn't waste too much resin straight off the bat. You can see the bubbles in the first pic to the right, which I had to pop with the torch. The second photo is after I first added alcohol inks. It bubbles and swirls around - it is just so fascinating to watch. I had a tiny bit of resin left over from the larger petri, so I poured it into 2 cabochons on a jewelry mold I have to try the technique on a larger scale.
After my rainbow was swirling around in the resin, I decided to try adding metallic gold alcohol ink. I didn't know at the time, but the metallic inks don't sink very well (womp womp), but this one at least made an appearance on the front side, so that was good. These photos are to show how the ink moves. All these pictures were taken just a minute or so from each other. Isn't that wild?
And here is a video of the ink in action. I could seriously watch this all day. It's so neat looking. 
I popped my cabochons out first, and I am pretty pleased with how they turned out :) The blob in the coral pink one was a bit disappointing, but for a first try at it I was thrilled to get so much texture. The coral pink was colored with Brea Reese brand ink in their pink colorway, and I've now learned that this brand performs differently than the Piñata brand. The blue and pink was done with Piñata inks and it is just everything I had hoped it  could be. So pretty, nice depth of movement, and they mixed to make the perfect purple.
I love to look at these from the side because you can really see how the ink drops through the resin. So cool
And my rainbow piece came out AMAZING. Seriously, I could not be more happy with my first try at this. I tried to take pics from all angles so you can really appreciate how neat this process really is. Look at the side view! It's like little hairs in there.
And this was my second that was poured at the same time. I love the preserved clear space at the edges, and I love the color combo. I'm not a big fan of that one white spot, but I've learned I can correct that if I want to. It's like a beautiful color explosion frozen in time. 
I did have a small spot on the second piece that the resin did not cure - my guess is that a drop of unmixed resin dripped from my cup when I first poured into the mold. This is another thing that can be fixed, I just have yet to actually do it yet.

I was so thrilled with my first results that I poured more that very night. I went resin crazy for a few weeks, and then to be honest my life kind of fell apart. As much as I wanted to keep making things in resin, I had something happen that involved the resin art in a weird way and it just made me angry every time I thought about pouring more resin. And the resin isn't even what made me mad! lol The problem is no longer an issue now, but I went 2 months without touching any of this again. So sad! I'm happy to report I will be back at it very soon and I will continue to show my resin casting adventures.

Have you ever worked with resin?

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