The number of beautiful examples of jewellery made from resin castings have been displayed in shopping centres around the world. They have graced the covers of magazines and have even been purchased by celebrities.
The new technologies of resin casting have made it possible to produce resin casting that appear just like real amber, jade, and turquoise.
The home-based artist has driven changes within the industry, and new resins have been developed with the home based artist in mind. These new products are safe and easy to use, and the quality of the product that they produce is life like.
What this means to crafters everywhere is that the art of jewellery making is now limited only by your own imagination. Artists are free to craft unique and dazzling pieces that are drawn from their own creativity.
With the development of new resins came a plethora of new colours that surpass those beautiful hues wrought by nature. Artists can now create their own centre pieces, pendants, stones for earrings, necklaces, bracelets and bands.
Thanks to the easy to use products that allow artists to create their own moulds, jewellery artists are now able to create original and unique pieces. This means that the current trends, are being developed right in home studios.
You no longer have to wait for commercial manufacturing to catch up to what’s hot. You can simply make it yourself!
TIP: Online shopping can help artists keep current with the latest ideas.
The entire concept of manufacturing your own products, creating your own moulds, and running a jewellery based business is also new. The elements needed to empower the individual have finally come together and created an artistic boom.
The ease and operation of web technologies has allowed artists to establish themselves via their own websites which easily become a store front. Online sites like Etsy and Google Handmade also allow artists to sell their designs.
The burden of cost has been reduced to the point that not to try your hand at following your dreams, is worse than if you tried and failed.
A Guide to Resins:
Within the industry, there are three main types of resins that artists use for casting. Those are polyurethane, epoxy, and polyester resins. The most commonly known are the polyester resins which have been used for the longest but have found disfavour with the home-based artist because of the noxious odour produced by the MEKP catalyst that is used with these resins
The new and much easier to use epoxy resins, are mixed with easy to measure Part A and Part B, stir and you are done. The best part about these resins is that they are not only safe they don’t produce that noxious smell of older resins.
Epoxy resins are new and have found a growing following because they are easy, safe, and there is no obnoxious odour. CrystalCast is one of the best of the cheaper brands, because it produces high quality castings with a reasonable translucency that works well for cast jewellery.
CrystalClear is popular for its water like clarity. The easy resin mix, is also the resin that is the most bubble free.
Polyurethane resins are the newest resins that have been developed. CraftCast White is probably the most popular of all the resins for casting. It mixes at a ratio of 1:1 and offers artists the bonus of a quick demoulding time. It requires only 3 minutes to set and can be removed from the moulds in as little as 10 minutes. It is also safe and user friendly
The mixed viscosity of CraftCast is very near that of water, which means that it is able to pick up and hold many fine details from your mould.
Choosing the right resin for your project is critical, but the benefits to the artistic process do not stop with resin choice. There are so many coloured dyes and pigments available now, that artists can create their own custom colours for their projects.
Add embellishments like metallic powders or mica powders and you can create active creations that are full of fire.
TIP: If you are new to resin casting, start with a few of the pre-made moulds. When you get more experience in the techniques of casting, try to make your own moulds. The benefit to home-based businesses, is almost always the quality of the piece made, combined with the uniqueness of the art.
For those of you who want to create your own moulds, try MoldSil or CraftSil which are general purpose silicones that are easy to use. Being able to create your own moulds means that your art is only held in check by your imagination. Run wild and be creative.
For beginners, we suggest our kit which will contain everything you need to get started. Jewellery making is a fun and very rewarding hobby. There is an opportunity to make money from doing something that you love.
Stan Alderson has over 30 years of experience in the art and craft field and is now helping others to broaden their knowledge and enjoyment in this fascinating and challenging area. If you would additional information you can contact Stan at www.aldax.com.au R1201c