When I was a kid, we would challenge one another with tongue twisters. One I remember is “she sells sea shells by the seashore.” I often wondered how anyone could make money selling seashells near a beach. That was then and this is now. Shells are harder to come by on the beach nowadays. Still, a friend did manage to find some seashells which she asked me to make into earrings for her.
The shells looked like small mussels to me and were pretty delicate so I decided to give them a reinforcing coat of epoxy resin after I drilled tiny holes for jump rings.
My new dehydrator came in handy for drying the shells after I coated them because the weather is humid around here. By the way, this dehydrator was $24.99 when I bought it on Amazon a couple of months ago to use with metal clay. Now it’s selling for three times as much and I have no idea why. But there are plenty of dehydrators to be had for under $40.00 if you shop around.
I like to weigh my resin on a gram scale. I put a silicone egg cup on the scale, calibrate to zero, and pour in equal parts resin and hardener. When I am done, I let the remaining resin resin cure in the cup, pop it out and throw it away. Voila! The silicone cup is clean for the next resin project.
I used real 24 K gold leaf for one pair of shells and fine silver foil for the inside of the second pair. I attached the leaf with sizing and coated the shells with Pebeo varnish. I laid the shells on an old silicone pot holder to dry and sanded off any blobs before I applied the leaf.
And here are the finished earrings: gold filled wire for one pair and sterling wires for the pair with the silver leaf undersides. The earrings are extremely light and a lot more durable because of the resin coating.