Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Workshop of my Dreams

I am like a child on Christmas Eve, bursting with excitement! Why, you may ask? Because tomorrow is the first day of registration for Deryn Mentock’s The Build Zone. I have been drooling over Mentock’s designs since first discovering her items in multiple issues of Belle Armoire Jewelry. I was struck by her beautiful pairing of vintage elements with religious symbols. I immediately hunted down her blog and Etsy store (stalked her?) to get a closer look at her creations. (Example one, example two, and example three). 

One thing I am sort of scared of is that we will be using a small micro torch (butane torch) for soldering and maybe other techniques. I have always shied away from doing this, but I am now going to be forced out of my comfort zone once again. This summer has been full of me doing things I never thought I would!

Speaking of which, I seem to finally be having better luck with my resin designs. I am about to do a second pour where I add in some images, and dome some of them.

In other news, I have become aware of some issues surrounding copyright with images used in collage art if you plan to sell your collaged items. A woman I know named Katie Cahill from my Facebook Apoxie Clay group posted an excellent blog article about this.

Images from antique books I own
I have been making sure that any Holy Card images I use are in the public domain (most are due to the original art being so old) and trying to purchases antique books here and there published before 1929, so the text and images are in the public domain. From there, I photocopy images to use in my work. This is just something to be aware of if you do a lot of mixed media work that  you sell or hope to sell.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Making Me Crazy

I have been working for several weeks on a few different resin pieces. I have viewed a few DVD lessons that include resin pieces in them. I have also read two jewelry books featuring resin designs. One of my favorite resin jewelry books is the new Kristen Robinson’s Tales of Adornment. You can link to this book through the Amazon widget on the right-hand side of this page; or link to my review of this book on Amazon here.

I purchased two-part Ice Resin. I used packing tape to seal the back of an open bezel as directed. I have tried two different types of packing tape. Both have led to the back leaking resin.

I have been having an extremely frustrating time with it and have had to use Attack on it several times to remove the resin and begin again. This is a big pain because the resin takes 2-3 days to fully cure.

The only thing that seems to be working for me is using the resin to make a really cool effect on paper. I have used Holy Card images, coating them in the ice resin with a sponge and letting them dry overnight.

These images are in the public domain 

 The altered Holy Card on the left has to be one of my favorite images of Mary. Just stunning.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I have spent the past two days playing with two-part resin. I have been busily mixing, pouring, and adding inclusions in various ways. I have embedded a cross in a heart mold; domed an image from a Holy Card; and am closing the back of a bezel before adding a Milagros charm to it.

I also have been working on this locket for a few days. This is another image of Mary taken from a Holy Card. I know the resin produced tiny bubbles over her image, but I decided it would give her more of an antique look.

I think the blank, left hand side could use something, but maybe I am crazy. Do you think you’d add a little something to the inside left?

I am completely out of both Fixit Sculpt and silicone mold-making materials. However, I need to wait another week or so for my monthly budget to reset in September before I purchase more. Now my addiction is temporarily cut off!  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sacred Heart

I am now finished with my Sacred Heart pendant. The Sacred Heart has its historic roots in the visions of Jesus received by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque beginning in 1673. Jesus revealed his Sacred Heart, a heart aflame with divine love. Her visions continued for several years. Initially, her spiritual insights were met with much opposition. It took until 1684 for her experiences to be fully supported.*

I crafted (and cured) the pendant from epoxy clay. Then I collaged it using a college matte medium similar to Mod Podge. Once that was dry, I put some beading wire in the holes to keep them open, and painted on two-part, clear, epoxy resin to seal it. In retrospect, I think I would prefer a matte sealant. I was curious to see how I would like the resin when painted on top. Probably worth a try, even if I may decide to seal my future projects differently.

I know I have mentioned how impatient I am in previous posts. Can I just say that waiting 24 hours for the resin clay; then waiting 24 plus hours for clear resin to cure is extremely difficult for me, queen of instant gratification!

*My information about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque comes from the website of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque parish.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Sneak Peek

I have had an extremely busy day working on two projects at once. First, I am working on a necklace using this vintage pendant and wire wrapped beads. I can only give you a sneak peek until I am ready to "unveil" it.


I just finished reading Kristen Robinson's New book, Tales of Adornment: Techniques for Resin Jewelry. The projects and techniques in Tales of Adornment are extremely intriguing and inspirational. Kristen Robinson has more of a mixed media, romantic style reflected in the designs in the book. She presents excellent techniques for using resin, as well as silicone molds. The photographs are excellent, showing clear steps for various procedures.

I do love when a book motivates me to try new techniques a bit out of my comfort zone. I have always shied away from using two part resin, favoring the ease one pour and set versions like Magic Glos. But, Robinson's book did inspire me and some two-part Ice Resin arrived today! I am now looking forward to trying this out.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Giveaway from Mary's Graces

There is wonderful giveaway of a beautifully crafted polymer clay cross being held by my Etsy design team: Mary's Graces.
Photo Courtesy of Mary's Graces Blog
Be sure to enter for your chance to win this cross- look at the amazing amount of work that went into molding the flowers! Love it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Angel Bezel

In addition to getting used to epoxy clay, I also have wanted to encase a few things in clear resin. I created a small circle of Angelina Fibers after using my iron to fuse several colors of it together. Then I cut out a small image of an angel from a Holy Card. I coated them with acrylic sealer spray and set them in the bezel with a tiny bit of glue- just to keep them from floating up. Then I slowly built up and cured several layers of resin.

I really like the way she came out. But, for some reason, I had the hardest time photographing this so it would not be slightly blurry. I think she would pair nicely with some of the 1950s and 1960s vintage jewelry elements I have.

I currently have some new silicone molds curing. I wanted to make a few more resin pieces for jewelry and was contemplating trying out some collage on them. So definitely stay tuned for the results of that!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

(Not so great) Epoxy Clay Results

After I let my cross heart made of epoxy clay cure for 24 hours, it was time for step two of the online workshop I have been blogging about. For this step, we needed to turn the piece over and remix a small amount of clay to smooth out the imperfections on the back that occur from it curing on its back. Also, I discovered that the other piece I put in the mold ended up being too deep/heavy for jewelry. 

Kerin Gale kept warning about smoothing the new clay extremely well to avoid bumps and unevenness. I should have listened a bit more closely to this part, because my pendant did end up sort of bumpy on back as you may be able to tell from the pictures.

Kerin also recommends mixing acrylic paint with alcohol inks to achieve interesting paint effects. I did this, thinking I would like the heart to be brown. However, now I realize it is much too dark and not a good contrast for the gold cross. I think I would have been better off choosing more of a red or red-orange like a Sacred Heart.

Ahh well, you live and learn, right? I suppose this is all part of the learning process. I am now obsessed with trying out some other things with the resin clay. I am completely fascinated by it! I am trying to think of some ways of mixing my love of vintage pieces with mixed media elements.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Epoxy Clay Pendant Workshop

In a previous post, I mentioned signing up for an online workshop with Kerin Gale. The workshop focuses on making an epoxy clay pendant. I had a little time today to complete the first portion of the three-part workshop.

I molded a heart pendant, and altered Kerin’s design a bit by using a cross instead of an open lock. I also made an additional piece using a silicone mold, mainly to test out how using a mold with the epoxy clay works.

These need to cure overnight. Then, I move onto part two of the workshop, where we add various elements and touches to the pendants. The third part of the workshop focuses on the finish of one of the pendants.

I have a feeling I won’t have much time to truly focus on jewelry making the way I long to until late August when Liam returns to school.