August 21, 2013

Lady Hoare Shuttle Tutorial

I received a request for information from Patricia Greninger on Facebook on how to go about making a Lady Hoare style tatting shuttle with resin. This would be the simplest of shuttles to make since it generally is a flat shuttle. These, you will find, are mostly carved out of wood.

The steps in making a mold are generally all the same. I buy most of my supplies online. Either on or, although my local Michael's Craft Store also carries most of the actual resin I use, in store. I cannot stress the importance of using gloves enough. Make sure you take the proper precautions when handling resin. Never use your fingers to test how far along your piece has cured, always use a toothpick or something similar for this. Good thing about the toothpick is that you can also use it to pop air bubble if they form in your working piece. Let's get started!

1. Find a template. In this case, I use a piece of cardboard to cut out the general shape of my piece.

2. Prepare molding compound. For all my first runs, I use Oyumaru. It's re-usable and resin friendly. Also please do not use latex based mold making compounds for resin making. They will leave a cloudy reside on your resin that is a major pain, if not, next to impossible to get rid of on your pieces.
Note: You can use the mold you make with this to pour your resin directly into. I make a secondary permanent mold for heavy/multiple casting.

3. Make the actual mold. If you are using cardboard, remember to put the smooth side down. No matter what type of molding material you use, it is designed to pick up detail. So unless you want the little dents added, smooth side down. Another good thing about Oyumaru, is that it is ready to use in about 10 minutes! You can also speed up the time by cooling it in your freezer (for those of us who are impatient).

4. This step, I use UV curing resin and my newly acquired UV lamp. It perfect for my trial runs because I can find out in a few minutes verses a day, if my mold turned out right. If you are comfortable with using regular resin then go ahead. You can skip this trial run stage.
I added some paint to give it some color

5. After verifying my temporary mold worked out, I make a permanent mold out of Mold Easy. I use the sanded version of a piece made with the temporary mold for this. I do this because if I ever want to make another or more than one at a time, I can without having to do all the above steps again.

I will add another layer of UV resin to level it out, one side at a time

6. Mix your resin according to it's directions and have at it! You can add embellishments like stickers or glitter to your resin.
Please Note:
When you do this, it's highly recommended ( I should just say required) you lay down a THIN layer of clear resin and let it cure to a gummy stage before adding embellishments. Otherwise the pieces can sink to the bottom and protrude on the other side like bumps. If you want a colored background, you do the thin clear layer so you can see your embellishments when it is complete, and that you are working in reverse. The bottom of the mold is the top of the finished product. Also keep in mind that the more embellishments you add, the longer it takes the resin to cure. Make sure to check on your piece often, you don't want air bubbles in them by accident. Air bubbles can swiss cheese your piece.

7. Finishing

No matter how good you become at pouring the resin, you will always have to do some filing/sanding to smooth off the edges. This over flow of resin is called "flash". When getting into the smaller corners, I prefer to use a very thin round file and hand file it down. This way you don't end up taking off more than you intended. Or if you are using a rotary tool, use the smallest round head you can find.
I've looked at numerous YouTube videos and picked up a lot of tips on how to give a 'finished polished' look to my pieces. I've narrowed it down to two of the easiest. For smooth pieces, I just pour another thin clear layer of resin on the top. It gives it the "shiny look". For those that have indents, I use a spray.
One thing to keep in mind, it's best to work in layers. This way you actually end up wasting less product. There's no bigger disappointment than working hard and waiting all that time only to find your piece doesn't turn out the way you hoped. With layering, you are able to maintain a better control on what's going on and fix small mistakes(air bubbles, sticker placements, ect). It's also easier to give depth to multidimensional castings.