- Silicone mat/worksurface
- Stir stick. I recommend a silicon stir stick. You may get more bubbles in your project if you use a popsicle stick.
- 2-part resin. I used a 1:1 ratio of Total Boat
- Very small shells
- Silicone cup to mix resin in
- Blue pigment
- Respirator. It is not good to breath in the resin. Keeps windows and/or doors open as well to help circulate the air when working with resin.
I had a video of me making this piece, but the file got corrupted or something, and I lost it. Since I was working with resin I was not able to take many photos of me making this project either.
After I purchased my mold, and mixed my resin together I realized my mold was backwards for my initial idea for this piece. Originally, I was going to add the sand and shells to the bottom of the container, then have the blue at the top. So, just make sure you check your molds before you order them, that they face the way you are wanting. Many molds come both ways. This mold is almost too small to do anything with it, besides as just using it for decorations. So, also make sure you look at the size of your molds before you buy any.
It is important to mix your resin to the ratio it indicates. If you get too much of one part of the resin mixture, then your piece may become cloudy, lots of bubbles, or the piece will never set correctly and remain sticky. If the piece does not cure and remains sticky, then you can mix more resin and pour it over this area. This may affect your design since your piece will no longer be in its mold. Also make sure you mix your resin together well. I sometimes think I have to go fast so the resin does not start to cure on me, but it is best to take extra time to really mix your resin parts together. This will also help reduce the amount of bubbles in your finished piece. Using a wooden popsicle stick to stir your resin together may also create more bubbles. I recommend using a silicone stick to stir with.
I first used a spoon to pour some sand I got from a beach into my mold. I should have actually mixed the sand in with some of my resin, then poured this sand and resin mixture into my mold. When I took my piece out of its mold, I found that the resin did not reach the bottom of the mold. The sand prevented the resin from going all the way to the bottom of the mold. This is why my piece is wavy at the top instead of having a nice even edge. There was nothing holding the sand at the bottom to my piece, and when I took my piece out of the mold, this extra sand just stayed in the mold. I actually kind of like this uneven top I got as a result to this mistake. It fits the beach theme of this piece.
Once my sand was in place, and evenly distributed around the entire piece, I placed very small shells and things in the sand. I used very thin tweezers to move things to my liking, and to make sure they were all facing the correct way. I picked up these pieces years ago from a trip my family took to a beach. I believe many of the shells were ones we picked up off the beach.
I then mixed some blue pigment I received from a kit into my resin. I made sure to mix it well. I kept adding a drop of blue pigment, and mixing it until I was happy with the color I got. I then poured this into my mold, till it was completely filled. Since my mold was thin/tight, my shells and things did not move or float when the resin was added. If you have a wider piece you are working with, then I recommend only placing a little bit of resin to the bottom of your pieces first, and letting it cure overnight. This thin resin layer will help hold your pieces in place while you fill the reminder of the mold with your resin. This technique is also great if you want pieces to be at different levels inside your mold. So, if I wanted the seahorse to be higher than the shells, like he was swimming, then I would have filled my mold to the spot I wanted to add the seahorse. Once this first layer of resin cured, I would have put my seahorse and the rest of my resin. Remember things float in resin when trying to put things in your molds.
This piece was a great learning experience. Sometimes I feel like I have to hurry when working with resin, and I forget some of the things I learned/know. I need to remember to just breath and take my time. I also get a bit nervous when I video tape myself doing a project, and this also causes me to make mistakes. Hopefully over time I will get better about this. Resin can seem scary to work with, because it is a completely different median than you have probably ever worked with, and the extra safety precautions, but there are a lot of amazing things you can make with resin. I recommend giving it a shot and it is okay to make some mistakes. I highly recommend working with UV resin first, before you move onto a two-part resin (resin where you have to mix two parts together to activate it.) UV resin is a little more expensive, but it can be found in smaller amounts, and is less intimidating. It also cures a lot faster, so no waiting around to see how your piece turned out.
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