Friday, October 22, 2010

Buyers Market unveils 2011 Artist Stimulus Package

From Christine Kloostra christinek@rosengrp.com

As the economy remains unsettled, and many of our artists still struggling to make ends meet, the Buyers Market of American Craft is unveiling an unprecedented one-year plan designed to make it easier for artists to participate in the show. The 2011 Artist Stimulus Package includes an innovative range of initiatives designed to strengthen not only artists’ businesses, but the show as well.

  • Elimination of the two-show contract
  • Smaller booth size option for new exhibitors
  • Welcome Back Program
  • Invitational Collectors' Day at the summer Buyers Market
  • Expanded free educational programming for artists and retailers at the summer Buyers Market
  • Cancellation rebate

Please take a few minutes to read our newsletter outlining the details of each of these programs. These initiaitives, combined with existing programs already available to exhibitors, can significantly reduce booth expenses. The newsletter includes an article offering detailed information on how to save up to $444 on a 10 x 10 space at the February show, along with several other cost-cutting ideas.

We know that a strong exhibitor base is the leading incentive for buyers to attend the show. We need your help to guarantee that we have the largest number of quality exhibitors in our 2011 shows, and hope that you will share our enthusiasm for putting the Buyers Market back on top.

To apply for the show or get more information, please contact your Exhibits Manager:

Glass & Ceramics: Allison Muschel, 410-889-2933 x203, allisonm@rosengrp.com

Mixed Media & Wearable Fiber: Laura Bamburak, 410-889-2933 x227, laurab@rosengrp.com

Jewelry & Suppliers: Rebecca Mercado, 410-889-2933 x202, rebeccam@rosengrp.com

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Silicone Rubber for Molds

What is a silicone mold?

Silicone molds may not be the best thing since sliced bread, but they come close—at least for resin crafting and gaming enthusiasts and artists! Silicone molds are resistant to high temperature and chemicals, can accurately capture fine detail, and they’re elastic and durable.

Silicone is a mold-making elastomer—usually made of two liquid parts, a base and a curing agent (often called catalyst), which are easily cast around an original artifact after being mixed. Once hardened, elastomers become a flexible, stretchable (which eases demolding even around deep undercuts), yet return to their original shape without distortion.

When were the first silicone molds available?

The first recorded reference to a silicone mold appeared in the 1950’s; however, the earliest referenced silicone molds where the details of an original surface was actually transferred using a mold appear to have been dental molds, referenced in a 1952 document. Commercial products for these dental molds were available from 1955 on, with fast-curing compositions appearing later.

I’ve heard that making a silicone mold is hard—requiring a gram weight scale and a degassing vacuum. Is there someplace I can have a custom silicone mold made?

Yes—contact Cindy, the ResinLady, at ResinObsession.com, but before you do, you should look at some of the newer formulations of silicone rubber. They are easier to use than ever before. Now you can make your own finely detailed molds with all the advantages silicone offers, PLUS no more weighing or degassing the liquid after mixing! Check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure that the rubber has the characteristics you are looking for.

I’ve tried making my own silicone mold and had a disaster—it was filled with air bubbles, even though it was not supposed to need degassing! Is there any way to avoid that?

First, never pour the silicone mixture directly on the original; pour it into a corner, letting the liquid flow around the artifact. There are also formulations that are thinner and less prone to bubbling, or you can add a thinning agent. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to find a product like this, or contact Cindy at ResinObsession to answer your questions.

ResinObsession.com offers ready-made silicone molds for sale, and time-permitting, makes custom molds, too. Cindy also carries a complete line of silicone mold rubber and putty for all of your mold-making projects.

Full Article

Plastic Casting with Alumilite’s Water Clear Resin

Plastic Casting with Alumilite’s Water Clear Resin

Plastic casting is the art of creating replicas or jewelry and other resin objects in molds with liquid resin. It sounds technical, and in some respects it is, but it is also within the abilities of most people to learn the tips and skills necessary to create their own perfect copies of needed parts or creative masterpieces.

The types of projects made with resin are unbelievably diverse: from utilitarian robotic pieces to impossible to replace wheels on models, railroad and gaming scenery with rivers of refreshing looking water, fishing lures, pen turning, glossy and durable furniture finishing to professional caliber custom resin jewelry. No matter what your hobby and interests are, there is a plastic casting resin available to see your creative idea become a reality.

Packaged in two separate bottles containing the resin and a hardener, you should gently but thoroughly combine the two in a smooth flat-bottomed and sided plastic container. It is then poured into a mold where the mixture creates its own heat which causes it to cure or harden into a durable rigid plastic replica. Pre-treating the mold with a mold release product such as Castin'Craft Mold Release & Conditioner is a good idea even when the resin instructions say it isn’t necessary. It may not be necessary for easy demolding, but it helps make cleaning the mold simpler and conditions it for longevity.

There are some tips and tricks which make creating your own plastic casting resin items easy, and Cindy the ResinLady is always pleased to help new and intermediate enthusiasts learn how to create their own resin projects. At ResinObsession, Cindy carries everything you need to complete your project, including the know-how and experience that will help you avoid the pitfalls many novices fall into.

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EnvirotexLite by ETI

Envirotex / EnvirotexLite

Envirotex Lite, an easy to use and beautiful pour-on plastic coating for all of your projects, air dries to a hard high gloss finish in about eight hours, completely cures within 36 to 48 hours after pouring, and best of all, it doesn’t require a degassing chamber or polishing to reach its signature shine. Made by Environmental Technology, Inc.,(ETI) it is not recommended for exterior use.

One coat of Envirotex produces an attractive, durable coating that is equivalent to up to 50 coats of varnish. Additional coats may be applied after curing by wiping the surface with an alcohol saturated clean cloth prior to recoating. Just scuff sand and then wipe clean before applying over polyurethane finishes.

Projects of all kinds receive a professional looking gloss finish with Envirotex Lite: resin tiles, bar tops, cypress clocks, wall plaques, table tops, shiny coasters, cabinet knobs, figurines, and embedded resin jewelry, model ponds and ice skating scenes.

Easy to use with no strong smell, Envirotex should be used in a well-ventilated, clean, dry, dust-free room where the humidity is below 50% and the temperature is between 70 and 80°F. Higher room temperatures up to 100°F after pouring shorten the cure rate while increasing the hardness.

Use about 4 to 6 ounces of Envirotex Lite per square foot for your projects. Mixing at 70°F makes Envirotex easy to mix and inhibits bubble formation. Once mixed, pour Envirotex immediately as you only have approximately 25 minutes of working time at 70°F, less at warmer temperatures.

Within ten minutes, bubbles will begin rising to the surface and breaking. Exhaling across the surface of your small item to break the bubbles; a small propane torch is recommended for large items.

Experts have been using Envirotex Lite for years to give a beautiful finish to their projects-now you can, too.

® Envirotex Lite is a registered trademark.

Full Article
ResinObsession's SuperClear Casting Resin

Versatility, thy name is clear epoxy resin. If you are looking for one product that can give you a solvent-free and relatively low odor weather- and water-proof finish on your Cub plane or weekend boat, or a glass-like finish on your prized wooden bar, as well as beautifully detailed, artistic, and unique jewelry, then epoxy resin may be just what you are looking for.

ResinObsession’s Clear Casting Epoxy Resin is ideal for casting items which require six (6) ounces or less of resin in a mold. Beautifully stylish and professional looking faux metal jewelry, small statues and one of a kind cabinet pulls and knobs are all possible with epoxy resin. Simple to use, epoxy resin can give your jewelry or projects the look of dragonflies suspended in amber.

The many beautiful effects you can achieve with epoxy resin include a translucent glass effect, faux metal cast, faux granite look, and you can even embed fabric, prints, or copies of favorite photos under this glossy, transparent finish. You can create a variety of opalescent or solid colored items using opaque pigments, while that faux gem clarity is yours with transparent dyes. The looks and styles you can achieve with epoxy resin are limited only by your creativity and time.

If you have a particular project or style you are trying to create and think that clear epoxy resin may be right for your project, but you’re not sure of how to achieve it, give Cindy at ResinObsession a call—she’ll be happy to share her expertise with you. She loves to share her love of all things resin with other enthusiasts.

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Clear Casting Resin

Casting Resin

Clear Casting Resin is all around us today. It’s what gives many a wooden bar that glass-like sheen and is a staple of model railroad and gamers’ scenery whenever you see glistening rivers or shimmering ponds. It is also the reason you can now see such beautiful glossy necklaces in which artifacts seem to be encased in translucent water or suspended in amber.

Made when a liquid hardener is mixed with a base resin, this product forms a transparent, durable and hard resin object. Mixing the two liquids, the resin generates its own heat which cures into the realistic looking clear solid plastic water or gorgeous custom and personalized jewelry that is so popular today. Mixed 1:1 by volume, clear casting resin cures at room temperature in a relatively short period of time. ResinObsession's SuperClear resin has 2 to 1 mix ratio.

Though past products produced cheap looking plastic jewelry, the new generation of resin is prized by today’s clothing and jewelry designers for whimsical one-of-a-kind jewelry that is marketed at the highest levels, and yet is made quite easily once you master the techniques involved. So anyone regardless of income level can adorn themselves with beautiful custom jewelry.

Other uses include encasing reproductions of treasured photos in glass-like coasters or plaques that can be enjoyed for years to come. With the tinting products available beautiful facsimiles of stained glass sun catchers can sparkle in our windows. The creative uses of transparent casting resins are nearly limitless. If you can imagine it, you can probably create the scenery, glassy wooden table top or stunning custom jewelry that will set you apart from everyone else.

Online experts like ResinObsession offer a selection of clear casting resins to meet your needs regardless of the project you have in mind. Cindy, the ResinLady will be happy to help you go from a great idea to a finished product if you email her.

Full article

Where does Resin come from?

Have you ever wondered where resin comes from? 
Is it natural or synthetic? 
What is it used for?

Well, in this article we’ll explore a very brief history of resin, it’s uses and where we are today in our technological advances in resin.  The possibilities of using resin in all its forms are endless and have been tested and tried through thousands of years of applications.  From the ancients of Egypt to the modern jewelry maker, resin is and will continue to be an ever-changing medium used in many different ways.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Silicone rubber for resin molds
Silicone rubber is the material of choice for most resin molds. It has a fairly inert nature which endows it with good release properties, good chemical resistance, and high temperature resistance.
It comes in two formulations popular for mold-making: tin-cure (condensation) silicone and platinum cure (addition) silicone. Both are composed of two component materials which must be thoroughly mixed and vulcanize (cures) at room temperature (RTV) to become flexible, high tear-strength rubber suitable for casting polyurethane, epoxy and polyester resins with easy release properties.
Tin cure silicone can be poured into molds or made brushable by mixing in an additive. Even though it has a shorter shelf life than platinum cure (addition) silicon and tends to shrink somewhat, it is less expensive and does well for most resin molds.
Platinum cure silicone rubber, also known as addition cure silicone, is known for its extremely low shrinkage. A word of caution is necessary, though:  these rubbers are chemically sensitive to latex, sulfur, and certain other materials. Platinum cure silicones are also used to cast prosthetics for special effects makeup and medical purposes, and for making food-compliant molds.
When using silicone rubber to fashion a resin mold, plan and prepare your process ahead of time—reading all of the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that you have enough time to mix the two components thoroughly and in the correct ratios and to form the mold before it begins to cure (usually in 1-1/2 to 2 hours).
ResinObsession stocks the following types of liquid room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber:
·         Alumilite High Strength 3 flexible mold-making Silicone Rubber;
·         Alumilite High Strength 2 flexible mold-making Silicone Rubber; and
·         Alumilite Quickset Silicone Rubber;
as well as two FDA food compliant silicone putty kits:
·         Alumilite Amazing Silicone Putty Kit and
·         Castin'Craft EasyMold Silicone Putty Kit
If you have any questions about our silicone rubber products or how to use them, Cindy- cindy@resinobsession.com , the ResinLady will be happy to answer them.
Full article

What kinds of resin plastic mouldings are available?

What kinds of resin plastic mouldings are available?

Plastic moulding is durable reusable moulds; they are available in self-releasing polypropylene and polyethylene plastic molding, used especially with clear polyester resin and casting epoxy.

TIP: Though effectively self-releasing, it is good standard practice to thoroughly condition and clean your molds with a mould release/conditioner before and after each use. Castin’Craft Mould Release/Conditioner is most often the release/conditioner of choice by knowledgeable resin aficionados.

How do I make a resin casting with plastic moulding?

Making your own resin jewelry or project is easy with a plastic mould and some resin, especially with one of our Beginner Resin Kits.

1: Protect your work area with freezer or waxed paper.

2: Spray the clean mould with mould release/conditioner.

3: Place the mould on a level surface, and fill the mould cavities to just below the top with resin.

4: Once cured, simply flip the plastic moulding tray over, and press the center of each piece to release it, flexing the mould if necessary.

There are a wide variety of ready-made plastic moulds available for you to use. ResinObsession, an online store started by Cindy, the enormously gifted ResinLady, stocks a large inventory of many different types of plastic moulding in a wide variety of subjects and shapes. She’ll also be happy to create a custom mould for you. Should you have any problems or questions concerning your resin project, don’t hesitate to contact Cindy - cindy@resinobsession.com —she loves to help and problem-solve with other resin crafters, whether you are a total beginner or someone who has been resin crafting for years.

Full Article

What is resin plastic molding?

What is resin plastic molding?

Plastic molding is the reusable plastic molds used to create molded items such as resin jewelry, plaques, souvenirs, drawer handles, custom tiles, and sun catchers. It is important to note that molds used for food items must be FDA-approved “food-safe” plastic molds. The unique and incredibly easy resin jewelry and crafts you’ll be able to fashion using a variety of resins, transparent and opaque dyes, and artifacts like small charms or flowers to embed are endless—limited only by your time and imagination.

What kinds of plastic molding are available for casting resin?

These durable reusable molds are available in self-releasing polypropylene and polyethylene plastic molding, used especially with clear polyester resin and casting epoxy.

TIP: Though relatively self-releasing, plastic molding will last longer for more castings if it is conditioned and cleaned with a mold release/conditioner with each. Castin’Craft Mold Release/Conditioner is often used by experienced resin crafters.

How do I make a casting with plastic molding?

It is simple to cast your own jewelry with a plastic mold and resin.

1: Protect your work area with freezer or waxed paper.

2: Spray the clean mold with mold release/conditioner.

3: Place the mold on a level surface, and fill the mold cavities to just below the top with resin.

4: Once cured, simply flip the plastic molding tray over, and press the center of each piece to release it, flexing the mold if necessary.

There are a wide variety of ready-made plastic molds available for you to use. ResinObsession is an online store started by Cindy, the enormously gifted ResinLady who loves resin in its many forms. She stocks a large inventory of many different types of plastic molding in a wide variety of subjects and shapes. She’ll also be happy to create a custom silicone mold for you. Should you have any problems or questions concerning your resin project, don’t hesitate to contact Cindy - cindy@resinobsession.com —she loves to help and problem-solve with other resin crafters, no matter your skill level.

Full article on website.