How to Make Resin Jewellery using Moulds

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Using moulds to make resin jewellery expands your horizons. Almost unlimited shapes and sizes of jewellery cabochons, pendants and earrings are available to add diversity to your jewellery designs.

Moulds come in many shapes and sizes and are made with both plastic vacuum formed materials for simple shapes and surfaces or rubbers such as silicone or polyurethane, to provide extra detail to the surface of your finished piece.

The epoxy, polyurethane and polyester resins commonly used to cast resin jewellery require the correct type of plastic moulds  to be used for success. The usual plastic moulds used to cast plaster and similar materials are not suitable instead special polypropylene and polyethylene resin moulds are used. These moulds have a distinctive greasy surface  feel  to them and enable easy release of jewellery resins.

For beginners we recommend that a release agent be used. This guarantees easy release from the moulds and gives additional length of life to the mould. With experience you can selectively omit the use of a release agent with the result that the resin is released from the mould with a more brilliant finish. Test with a small project before embarking on any major production.

The use of fillers and dyes can vary the variety of jewellery that you can produce. By using clear resins transparent dyes and inclusions, beautiful faux amber, abalone, jade or opal jewellery can be made. Sandblasting clear resin gives a unique frosted appearance.

A new look for resin jewellery has been achieved with the use of dichroic glass. Stunning results can be seen by embedding small pieces of dichroic glass in clear resin .  There is an almost limitless colour and design range of dichroic glass available.

Opaque resins can be coloured by adding pigments to make faux carnelian, turquoise or jade. Unique colours can be easily made by judicious mixing of pigments.

Remove the castings from the mould by flexing the mould and gently pressing from the bottom of the mould. Any rough edges or flashing can be removed by sanding with wet/dry sandpapers under water, to smooth the rough edges.

One of the most beautiful effects possible using resin is that of faux amber. In nature amber has been formed from ancient pine or spruce trees . Over time plants and insects have sometimes become embedded in the resin resulting in fossil amber.

Simulation of these effects can be achieved with the use of amber dye, a little dried organic matter such as crushed dried rose petals, bits of bark or leaves and some small pieces of gold metal leaf.

This is just one of the many jewellery making effects possible with these new versatile resins.

Stan Alderson

R1030a/RCW1004a

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