September 27, 2015

Challenging motivations

This Clearcast works so good, it's difficult to shape the shuttles. I would literally  have to watch the resin for a few hours to make sure it's solid enough to maintain shape but still malleable enough to form the blades. For straight-forward pieces, it is heaven because it finishes curing in about 14 hours. I mean rock hard for me where I live. I still have not reached that "aha!" moment with this resin. Here are a few examples of pieces that either were too hard to shape or not mixed correctly and ended up bendy.

I can most likely save two shuttles out of these blades only because the casting was thick and it did cure semi-proper. The one most disappointing that it didn't work out is the blue and white one.
She is too bendy to be saved. I may be able to make a cabochon or two and dip it in more resin to create a hard shell out of it. The color play is so gorgeous that I'm willing to try even if past experiences say it's a waste of time. Fortunately, the painted fish shuttle fared better. They both have posts attached to them on the backside. The bottom had a "shaped mold" with the ends covered to create the bend to the blades as the resin cured. The top was a flat piece that I had to sand down to create the arch.
On the bottom you can see where the mold covered the top of the blade because all coloring abruptly stops. It looks like I took an eraser to the paint. I'm going to have to make a vacuum former to make some more reusable molds. My Oyumaru is just starting to wear out. Which is saying a lot since I've been using it for a few years now.
This new batch is curing resin is the result of a contest. It's Autumn themed. Autumn to me means golds and browns. The smaller round ones are going to be cabochons. When they pop out of the mold they'll have a recess for me to add inclusions to them.
I used the bottom to my gold leaf flake bottles to make them.
Originally I had used the bottom of my paint pallet. They turned out to be too domed shaped. I did want them coin type.

They also trapped air bubbles too easily. Those were incredibly difficult to remove. They also had a very cloudy appearance to them when they popped out of the mold. That was a surprise, because all previous castings with Oyumaru gave the shiny finish.

I did add some more resin to the pieces to bring back the shine. The hazy look dispersed quickly.
Unfortunately, there were only two I was happy with. The first was the pumpkin sticker in the upper right. The other the orange to brown leaf in the bottom left corner. The original idea was to create a series of leaves going from green to dark brown. The lighter green faded too much to be noticeable with the orange glitter and the brown darkened to black in the resin. I hope to do better with the pieces curing right now. This contest ends on the 29th so I only have two days to finish the pieces.

September 18, 2015

Discovering new resins

I joined a Facebook group called Resin Art Fun Open Forum, that is centered around resin. They have a wonderful collection of members that give advise. In some of those posts, I discovered a new type of resin and more or less how to work with it.
My first trial run was tragic. I obviously did not mix it correctly by the level in these bottles. I made the mistake to work with the children still awake to distract me. It began curing in less than ten minutes and I had to hastily dump the resin into whatever mold was available since it did heat up quite a bit. I have to admit, I got a bit nervous when the resin 'smoked' a small bit.

In the shuttle mold in the forefront, it was poured 30 seconds before the one to the back right of it. As you can see it did pour smooth. The one in the back is a globby mess. I followed the directions exactly as it was described, but I later learned that those directions were for larger castings.

This piece was really hard cured in about 12 hours! It actually turned out to look like a cool quartz piece. It also turned out to have some weight to it. Not to say it was heavy, but it doesn't have a paper weight feel to it like most of the other resin pieces.
These are the few shuttle blades I was able to create. The green one reminds me of a beer bottle. It even has the feel of glass. The purple one turned out a little bit bendy. The green I used pastel chalk, the purple a drop of acrylic paint. It seems that it needs to have the acrylic mixed to one part of the resin before I mix with the second part. It DOES began curing quickly. This made it more difficult to create the swirls. It will make finding a way to tint my resin more challenging. Eyeshadows do work just as easily in this resin as any other type of resin. I haven't tried embedding anything in it, but that's tonight's project.