It’s the season of gift-giving and celebrating time together with the loved ones in your life. For some people on your list, a homemade or hand-crafted item will mean more than anything that could be purchased at your local department store. If you have some of these people on your list, or you’re dying to let out your creative streak, epoxy or resin art and crafts may be just the right solution for you.
Epoxy resin is one of the most diverse art mediums out there, both as an independent art form and as a means of enhancing other specialties such as installation art, painting, and even furniture. Resin art includes anything created by combining two components (resin and hardener) for artistic purposes. When the two parts are combined, a chemical reaction takes place in which they fuse together to create something that resembles clear plastic.
The initial mixture is often poured into a mold of your choice and allowed to cure. The mold is then opened, and the casting is extracted, leaving you with an impression of the inside of the mold. There are many types of resin for all kinds of applications. Some resin products are even designed to set and cure faster. Once the resin has cured completely, you’re left with a highly durable material that happens to be extremely versatile, easy to use, able to withstand harsh temperatures and that can be sanded and drilled if need be.
Other than creating beautiful castings, paintings, and surfaces for furnishings, resin is used in almost every industry on earth, including medical, electronics, automotive manufacturing, insulating electrical wiring, and construction. Some tools even use resin as a fast and effective way to solve otherwise complex engineering problems.
Essentially, resin functions as a super high-quality means of replicating a shape, figurine, toy, coaster, piece of jewelry, and many other possible shapes. If you wanted, you could make your own mold by covering the object of your choosing in silicone mold putty and allowing it to harden. Silicone does not bond to epoxy, so it makes the best mold material. Ideally, you want to pick a mold that is shiny on the inside. That way your project will be shiny when you remove it from the mold. If your silicone mold is not shiny on the inside, once the project is dry it will have a dull appearance.
Once the mold is ready, you can then add resin into the mold and replicate the shape you’ve captured in resin form, adding color, objects, glitter, and anything else you can think of. The best part about resin art is that the possibilities are endless regarding the ways they can be modified, not to mention how durable they tend to be.
Here is a pro tip for you. Fine glitter will sink to the bottom of the mold. If you want to add a backing of fine glitter, then you will want to wait a few hours for the resin to set, before sprinkling it on the surface. Chunky/large glitter does not sink, so it can be applied right away.
Another pro tip involves temperature. If you work in an environment where the temperature is relatively low, the curing time of the resin will increase significantly. For example, if you go from 77° F to 59° F, the curing time will double. Use an external heat source (stove, radiator, etc.) to increase the ambient temperature in your workroom to the temperature recommended on your product.
If you have never used epoxy resin before it can seem intimidating, but epoxy resin is a simple product that allows you to explore the depths of your creativity in a way that other mediums simply cannot. If you’re nervous, start small and work your way to bigger castings or artwork. Epoxy arts & crafts are perfect for older kids and teens. Younger children can help with it, but they would need a lot of supervision! Anyone working with epoxy needs appropriate PPE including masks, gloves, and eye protection.
Resin art can last a lifetime and make great gifts for your friends and family, plus they have the added advantage of being personalized to anyone you might want to gift them to. Some gift ideas include Christmas tree decorations, festive coasters, earrings or necklace charms, keychains, cutting boards, gaming dice, wall art, decorative candles, and more!
To learn more, get in touch with the experts at Alaska Resin Supply. We provide the highest quality materials and are located at 201 E. Swanson Ave, Suite #1, in Wasilla. We also have gift certificates available for the artist in your life.
Give us a call at (907) 671-9900 and check out our website at www.AlaskaResin.com.