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Sunday, 13 December 2015

My Adventures with Ice Resin

A few months back, when I was interested in incorporating some resin into my polymer clay jewellery, I researched what would be a great resin to try. I ran into Ice Resin with the plunger kit and I searched for a place to buy it in Canada. I ended up purchasing it from Shades of Clay, a Canadian polymer clay and jewellery supply company. I looked recently and they no longer seemed to carry the plunger kind though. I ended up purchasing it on eBay. I got 2 to make the shipping worth it.

Last time I used this product, and believe me was I apprehensive ***(will get back to this in my conclusion), I was so thrilled with it, I could Not believe this product existed! I had no issues, no bubbles stayed in it and it cured so crystal clear I was shocked. I used it for a couple pieces of my favourite jewellery so far. One has since sold, the 8 ball crater heart.

When I ran out, as this really only does a couple small projects, I bought a popular 2 part resin that you have to mix. First attempt, all went well, 2nd attempt, not so much. I feel it is much more finicky to mix and the temperatures have to be perfect in your environment, and you have to mix a fairly large amount. So, although I have a lot left, I decided to go back to the Ice Resin.

This video, by the developer and owner of the company, Ice Resin, on Youtube is an excellent tutorial of how to prepare and use it.

I will share here my experiences with it, my fail and my success, and what I learned.

Ice Resin is very easy to use. Though you must mix it properly. With my 2nd attempt, after my first great success with it the first time, I had an epic fail. My bad, as I was still quite inexperienced with it.

My condo is above 65 degrees, the minimum recommended room temp to work with it in, that is not an issue. I mixed a small amount and I was alarmed at the bubbles. I did mix it too vigorously, whipping it as Not suggested, I will admit. Therefore I tried to heat it as suggested on lien by some users of it. Well, not needed, should not have done that. What I had in my cup did end up curing but full of tiny bubbles. So, it was mixed right, but I was worried that maybe it was too chilly for it in my place. Later, realized, no, it is fine temp wise.

So, mixed a new batch. Silly me, I decided it must have been too cold so I held my little cup over the outside top of a warmed up oven as I mixed. Incorrect, Never do this, never mix over a heat source. I did mix gentler and what I thought was thorough, I was getting the opalescent thing happening and I mixed for 2 mins. After sitting it for 5 mins, I poured. Well, after 2 hours, it was not even beginning to cure. I spent almost 5 hours rescuing my 2 pendant projects, cleaning them out with isopropyl alcohol. I then spent time over again doing the surface accents and resealing them all over again.

So, the 2nd time this morning, after making sure I watched the following video a couple times again, since I had not worked with Ice Resin for a few months, I had to try again.

I used half the resin, mixed it nicely and thoroughly in a little plastic measuring cup, probably about a half ounce worth,  and I did not freak over the bubbles as I know they do work themselves out. I sat the little cup for 5 mins, I then poured my moon pendant center, and them I poured my shadow box pendant center. Inside the black wood textured shadow box I embedded a dried curly cue tiny plant branch, a little piece of leaf and a little dried piece of black acrylic paint. They form an abstract organic flower a bit like a rose. There is a man in the moon and a feather on the edges of the shadow box. There is silver guilder's paste and some coloured mica glazes. The pendant was sealed with PYMII before pouring the resin (the inside I blocked with a piece of wax paper).

Now, the little curled branch, I had to sit with a pin for the better part of an hour, sitting very still, to try to hold it in place until the resin had cured enough that it would not roll forward on its own accord. Needless to say, I am a person who cannot stand doing nothing constructive so this was tortuous lol! But, it was worth it to create the pendant I wanted. This pendant is being given as a gift and I wanted to follow through with my original idea for it.

Ice Resin is an excellent product, and simple to use, giving amazing results. All I had to do was follow the simple instructions, as I did the first ever time I used it, and stop worrying and over thinking about room temp and bubbles, and have faith that it will work as it was designed to :-)

Ice Resin prep video © Ice Resin

shadow box pendant

*** back to my apprehension originally about using resin for the first time. In high school, in the vocational art program, we had an instructor who was a freak about and drummed into us that resin in its liquid form is highly dangerous to the respiratory system and he was real strict about its usage and our exposure to it. So, this product did scare me a little to use,. Resins are not the same any more as they were in the 70s and 80s, however, it is wise to use them in a well ventilated environment and to not lean and bend right over it while mixing, nor for long periods of time. Do read up on the safe use of craft and jewellery resin before using it.

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