New Resin Bangles

I have been making more resin bangles with the home made silicone molds I wrote about in an earlier post, and experimenting with different colors of alcohol ink, glitter and leaf. Again, I’ve used both Easy Cast and Envirotex Lite resins and like them both. One thing I’ve learned is that finishing a resin bangle properly is hard work but the results are worth it. I’ve tried dipping coating and painting with resin, laquer, gloss, enamels and countless other mediums. I’ve learned that I don’t like glossy bangles; I prefer a soft satin shine.

Finishing the bangles properly is similar to finishing metal or polymer clay. The resin is a bit cloudy when it comes out of the mold. I start with 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper and work my way up to 1500 or 2000. This would give me a very shiny finish after buffing if the material was polymer clay. But with resin, I like to keep a satiny finish with just a hint of shine. It’s important to keep the resin clean; tiny molecules of sanded resin can clog the sandpaper and fill cracks keeping you from ssanding them away. After I finish with the sanding, I like to polish with a muslin wheel and Brasso metal polish until I get a soft sheen that’s a little difficult to see in these pictures.

One thing I have learned: If I’m going to put all that work into a bracelet, it had better be interesting. The two bracelets you see below are pretty but, to my mind, not nearly interesting enough to justify all the hand work.

I have only seen one book on the subject that I do not hesitate to recommend: Resin Jewelry by Kathy Murphy. It’s written for the artist as opposed to the hobbyist. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a hobbyist. I consider myself a hobbyist. But if you want to try to push your resin work to a higher level, Resin Jewelry is the book for you.

I have also been learning about compounds, polishes and how to use them. Some of the compounds you can use to finish resin, such as rouge, you can also use to finish metal. But that’s a huge topic. I found an instructive polishing guide on lline and you can download it here.