More Ice Resin Experiments........ and Mistakes!

Carrying on from my post last week about Ice Resin experiments, I made some matching pairs of the curly whirly swirly designs that I've decided I like the most. After getting fairly well matched pairs by bending two pieces of the copper wire at the same time using my pliers, I soldered all the points where the wires met and sanded the shapes flat giving myself two very sore finger ends in the process.
The next step was to add the coloured resin. I mixed up about 20ml for the first batch and divided it into four pots which I then coloured with acrylic paints.

My first mistake...
Attempting to do too much at once and ending up with a sticky mess. The acrylic paint does make the resin thicker and more glue-like and while the first two coloured resins were still fairly runny and easy enough to drip into the copper squiggles by the time I got to the last two I'd made from the first batch of resin they were very thick and sticky making adding them to the squiggles really hard. This resulted in blobs of resin in the wrong place, overflows and me sticking my thumb where it shouldn't go {no not there!} and making a mess of what was a decent job on one of the squiggles.

I did manage to rescue them all but there was a bit of overflowing and quite a bit of swearing. The next day I noticed some resin seepage from some of the unsoldered points that I thought were tight enough together not to leak which meant some of the resin was at a slightly lower level than other parts but again not to the point I couldn't save it. Using my jewellers saw made quick work of removing any resin that had seeped out too.

How to avoid the same mistake next time...
Mixing up a smaller amount of resin each time and maybe sticking to two colours at a time. Concentrating on two pairs of earrings at a time so I don't start panicking and ending up with many, many plastic pots and lots of very sticky toothpicks and lolly sticks and bits of kitchen roll and baby wipes and blobs of resin scattered on the table and the floor. It really was sight to behold.

Using the oven to cure resin
I've read that you can cure Ice Resin this way at temperatures between 90F to 135F so I thought I'd have a go using my gas oven set at the "S" {slow cook I presume} setting. This setting is really too high but I thought I'd try it anyway. I used some resin I'd poured into bottle caps for this and left it in the oven for over an hour.
Here is what happened to it...

My second mistake....
The results resemble an explosion in a plastics factory. It was too hot and left for too long but it is cured and very hard! I am going to try this again but next time I'll heat the oven then turn it off and put the resin on the bottom rather than the top shelf and keep an eye on it, probably taking it out every now and then to check it. It would be fab if I could get this to work as curing my resin takes about four days in the airing cupboard at the moment.

Copper and resin earring experiments
The results of the pierced and bowl designs I made last week were varied shall we say. One problem I didn't consider with the pierced design using textured copper was the fact that I couldn't sand it afterwards without losing the texture so any resin that I'd spilled around the edges {and not noticed} would protect the copper from the effects of the LOS leaving it bright compared to the oxidized copper.
 Like this...

So that's an idea I won't be repeating!
The other pair were fine I'm glad to say. I took a quick photo in the late afternoon on the window sill in my shed on a rainy day so apologies for it being dark.

I didn't sand the resin as I do prefer the shiny version. The marks you can see in it are a reflection.

So back to the curly whirly swirly designs...
I was a bit daunted that I was going to have to sand all of these but once I got going it wasn't too bad. I did use a large metal file and an abrasive disc with my flexshaft to start some of the very bumpy ones off which did leaves some gouges in the metal and resin but that will be sorted once I've finished all the sanding. I'm planning on sanding up to 1500 grit as I would like it to look as smooth as possible without going as far as polishing it. I used a glass brush in water to clean the resin in between sanding which really helped to remove the "dirt" that gets ingrained in it. 

I'm planning to oxidize the copper but after trying it earlier today on another piece and discovering that wire wool scratches resin and leaves it dirty {again!} I'm going to leave the copper dark and "polish" the oxidation in the tumbler.

I've now run out of coarse sandpaper so I had to stop and clear away lots of soggy pieces of 80 and 100 grit and the small puddle of water on my desk. I'm off to Homebase later to buy some more. The joys of making resin jewellery!
I'll post the finished photos of these next week.....


  1. I use coloured resin, and I find your tips very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So many challenges! A blog is a great place to vent out the trial and error frustrations! As you continue to learn, your techniques will be mastered. I really love the swirled copper pieces.

  3. Thanks Val, it's slow work and very much trial and error but I will get there!

  4. Awesome work ...I Luv the copper.


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