Monday, April 27, 2009

Epoxy Resin Like Amber Found in Nature

Here is an article off the Jewelry Blob- Jewelry Weblog that I found very interesting. I didn't know that real amber found in nature has some of the same characterics that the epoxy resin that we mix has! Maybe we should consider it as more precious? You think?

This is the link to the site I found the article on http://www.jewelry-thailand.com/2009/04/27/amberjewelry/

Fashion jewelry is not merely the custom to wear certain gems or metals. It refers to much more than that: to fulfilling one’s fantasies and enriching lives by satisfying psychological needs, to peppering existence with a variety of colors, shapes and textures, to tickling senses and giving wings to dreams. Considering this, let’s take the example of amber jewelry, one of the oldest and most astonishing creations of beauty lovers. Fashion has a strong word to say in sustaining amber jewelry and every year new beautiful creations are available on the market.

Combined with precious metals, amber can become an exquisite jewel. The beauty of amber jewelry is a result of good polishing and precise cut of a variety of amber stones. The color of the stones used to make amber jewelry is often gold, but amber can also come into many various unusual colors like: black, green, ivory, yellow, red, orange and even white. Natural amber may contain insects, feathers or flowers. Its colors are a feast to the eye and it is unique due to the fact that it imprisons something, unlike other precious stones. There are amber stones 30-90 million years old and they really represent frozen moments in time. Those treasures are a way to look back into well preserved moments of a life that existed in the past.
Amber jewelry is an original choice also because it has some interesting properties. It has a nice pine smell when you rub it on a piece of cloth, it’s warm and it contains succinic acid (a substance known for its therapeutic properties). The stone is not really a stone, but a resin that can become soft and malleable when heated and that can be chiseled very easily by jewel makers. Amber can be shaped in the most wonderful ways creating unique pieces.
This unusual stone is not used only for jewelry. It is in fashion and, therefore, artists use it to create amber sculptures and to decorate beautiful unique items with it. Amber jewelry is often used as magical amulets which protect from bad luck. It is also thought that amber jewelry can heal diseases from sore throats to anxiety. So, amber is an organic gem that people love not only for decorative purposes.
Amber jewelry was not always in fashion. A long time ago, the amber stone was considered to have flaws and was rejected from an esthetical point of view. Although it had periods in which its beauty was denied, there were moments in time in which amber jewelry was used as a diplomatic gift for princesses and princes. In the mean time, people used it in powders for curative purposes.
Because it began to be much appreciated, people started faking amber jewelry and they created quite an industry. Fake amber jewelry is everywhere nowadays, but there are some inexpensive ways to see if your stone is man made or not. You can test your amber gem’s authenticity by putting a heated needle on it. If the smoke smells like pine the gem is amber, but if it smells like plastic it’s definitely fake. For a non destructive way of testing, you can also rub the amber gem with a piece of cloth and smell it. If it smells like pine, it is a natural resin. The bad taste can tell you whether it is made of plastic not. If obtained through a chemical process, the just washed amber can taste poorly. Some other clues can also tell the truth about it. Amber does not melt, but it will burn. It will float in a bowl where you put one part salt and two parts water, while plastic and copal will sink.
If you do own real amber jewelry, you have to know how to protect it and save its value for many years to come. To clean your amber jewelry all you need is warm water and a clean piece of cloth. You mustn’t use any soap or detergent on it because they might ruin the amber’s structure. Even salad oil, butter or lard can destroy the resin. Amber jewelry has to be protected from heat or excessive cold because extreme temperatures may deteriorate it. A soft cloth is needed for wrapping each piece of amber jewelry in order to avoid contact, get scratched or become dirty.
There are many legends built around amber. It is said that the yellow resin is made of tears from the sun or (in Greece) from a nymph. Amber is also present in Ovid’s work as an incredible god like material which is out of this world. Even if you don’t believe that amber has incredible powers, there is no possibility of denial that amber jewelry is special. Wearing amber jewelry will give a more mysterious and unique look because the amber stone is itself an enigmatic gem which preserves history and charms the eye.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Taking Your Creative Resin Skills to the next level. Attack of the Designer Toy Show!

This is a small sample of the creativity that can be done with resin. I'm not a writer so this is a small sample of the ariticle I thought you might find interesting. The complete article can be viewed at http://www.toycyte.com/attack-of-the-designer-toy-show-2.

Our first resin show (Mod Economy Fall 2008) drew a good crowd of curious folks…but this time for The Attack of the Designer Toy Show we met a lot of people that knew about custom toys and vinyl and wanted to see what we had. Knowing that the artists sculpted and poured their own resin figures was a big bonus as the idea of owning something more one-of-a-kind seemed appealing to buyers. As usual, artists shared information on casting techniques and the mold making process with the public. We even encouraged artists thinking about toy design to try it out.


The annual spring art walk was the perfect setting for Saturday April 18th’s opening reception. All the galleries were open and many made the jaunt around town to visit and see as much art as they could. At Avenue Arts Venue, Scott Higgins designed a blank DIY resin figure, Frugi, and asked Nakanari, N’reazon, Jason Ice and Jason Milstead to customize them. After lighting the shelf, we added a nice color effect to give the room atmosphere and playfulness. The custom Frugis were on the first wall as you entered the gallery.The soundtrack for the show was put together by a local DJ (Mr. RID) who found a great mix of sound effects and music from toy commercials, as well as plenty of rocking tunes like Tom Waits’ “I Don’t Want to Grow Up.” It was the perfect compilation for this mixed crowd.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

ResinObsession Easter Challenge Winner- Resin Jewelry, Resin Easter Eggs and more

ResinObsession Easter Challenge

Elizabeth better known as Atomic Flamingo got busy, busy, busy when she received the
ResinObsession newsletter announcing the Easter Challenge. You can tell from her pics that she is very creative and a talented ResinObsessioner. Her first ResinObsession Easter Challenge submission is titled "Easter bounty". Materials used: resin, candy, glitter. Molds: bangle #414, jewelry #22, an ice cube mold (dog bones, flowers,gum drops), a jell-o mold (eggs), a handmade mold (bow), MC-1 (logo).

Her second ResinObsession Easter Challenge submission is titled Easter eggs! Materials: resin, candy, glitter, paper. Mold: old jell-o mold

Elizabeth's sence of humor is coming out in this next entry. Her third ResinObsession Easter Challenge submission is titled "Easter goes to the dogs". Materials: resin, candy. Mold: an old ice cube tray.

Atomic Flamingo wanted to make sure she won this challenge so she sent in entries that were based on color. Her fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh ResinObsession Easter Challenge entries are colors of the rainbow. Materials used: resin, candy, glitter. Molds: bangle #414, jewelry #22, an ice cube mold (dog bones, flowers, gum drops), a jell-o mold (eggs), a handmade mold (bow), MC-1 (logo).

Atomic Flamingo rounded out her ResinObsession Easter Challenge submissions with a
" humble demi-parure of sweet candy":
molds # 414, 22 materials: resin, candy, glitter, earring findings

And we have a WINNER!
ATOMIC FLAMINGO won the ResinObsession Easter Challenge!
Yippee! Yahoo! WOOO- HOOO!
She wins 2 molds of her choice including shipping. So shop away!
Thank you so much for your entries to the First ResinObsession challenge. We will be doing more so open up those newsletters.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Resin Casting disappointments are Future Experiment Opportunities

Answering a recent email I'm reminded of a favorite outlook I have towards resin castings that don't come out just perfect. I look at it this way - now you know how "not" to do it. There is a quote that I love from Thomas Edison - he was asked how he felt about the 200 some failures he had before finding the lightbulb that worked and he sharply turned to the person and said "I didn't have any failures, I found 200 ways that didn't work"! So there are no failures in crafting, only opportunities for future discoveries!