Monday, 3 June 2013

Working with resin: Making the Deco range

Just over a month ago I launched the Deco range of resin brooches. The concept behind this range was to pick up on the glorious, rich colours and larger-than-life jewellery style of the art deco era. The idea began with some pieces of an old chandelier I picked up at a market stall.

I started by creating silicone moulds from the brooches. It was my first time using silicone so I was relieved by how easy it was to work with. After telling myself "the first silicone pour will probably be a disaster", I was actually really happy with the moulds from first go.

Mixing silicone - these shots from my latest experiment...

From then it was a process of mixing colours and pouring resin. This is the fun part of the process - particularly the moment when you pop out the new piece from the mould, and decide that yes, you really are happy with it. I played around with colours a bit until I got some that I was happy with.

Then was the sanding process, smoothing all the rough edges and making them look pretty! This can be the tedious bit, but once you get into the sanding it can be quite meditative.

Finally I found a strong enough epoxy glue to secure the brooch backs to the brooches. So far they're holding strong! I also managed to glue several of my fingers together...

I've been really pleased with how the Deco range has turned out. From the first idea to the finished piece, it was really what I had envisaged all along. This might sound unsurprising, but working with silicone moulds and resin pours isn't always as easy as it sounds. I'm lucky that my first three collections have turned out so well, because it doesn't always happen this way.

Right now I'm experimenting with ideas for a new range, and oh boy they look pretty average right now. So bad in fact that I've had to throw out both moulds and resin pours - something I really don't like to do because I'm very conscious of the impact of it on the environment. Anyone who has heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch doesn't want to contribute any more waste than they have to! Experimenting is part of the creative process though, so don't let this put you off.

After struggling a bit with my latest range, it is nice to go back to my existing collections and feel some pride for my vision and for the final products!

If you've got any questions about using resin and silicone, including where to find supplies, leave a message on my contact page. Or join a class! Because it can be very rewarding once you know the basics.