Resin Effects: Alter Metal Jewelry Components with Color

27 Sep 2013

Bees are one of my favorite motifs in jewelry making or any other area, now that I think about it, so I immediately fell for this project by Stephanie Gard Buss for Nunn Design's Innovation Team. I love the use of mica powders to give the resin a little bit of iridescence, and the yellow looks great with the verdigris filigree. (Say that three times out loud, ha!) Remember the birdbath ring from a couple of weeks ago? I loved using resin to appear as water in that project, and similarly, the resin in this project looks like honey. Thanks to Stephanie and Nunn Design for another great project. Enjoy!

 
Colored Resin Bee Bracelet
By Stephanie Gard Buss

Before I tried my hand at torch-fired enameling (which I LOVE but have no space in my house to do right now), I found that mixing mica powders with epoxy resin gave me a similar look with a lovely shimmer. These bee stampings from Nunn Design were just begging for a little color. Let me show you a couple of options!

Materials:

Nunn Design bee stamping
2-part epoxy resin
mixing cup with measurements OR plain mixing cup and disposable syringes
a paper plate to use as a palette
craft sticks for mixing and spreading
Jacquard mica powders (Brilliant Yellow and Duo Green-Yellow)
fine sandpaper, polishing pads, or soapy water to clean surfaces
baby wipes for quick cleanups, optional
protective covering on your workspace
E-6000
vintage filigree component
bracelet or chain and toggle clasp

You may also want: a few extra bezels or components to use up leftover resin, a few shades of nail polish (you'll see why later), and matte-finish glue or sealant.

Steps:

 

1.       Begin by mixing your resin following the directions on the package. I like to use a syringe to get an exact measurement, but you can use a dosing cup as well. (And I just found out you can get 100 dosing cups on Amazon.com for $2.97 and free shipping!)

2.       After your resin is well mixed and settled, pour a couple of blobs of it onto a paper plate. Using a craft stick, pick up a bit of the mica powder and stir in.

3.       Once you have them mixed, you will want to let the resin thicken up a bit before using to avoid running. I waited an hour and it still ran a little, but if you wait too long, it will be too stiff to flow. During this time you can clean and/or roughen up your stampings a little to get better adhesion.

4.       When you're ready to add color, slowly drizzle the yellow resin onto the bee's body using a clean craft stick. If it's too runny, just wipe it off with a baby wipe and wait a little while longer. Try again; then set the bee aside for the resin to cure.

5.       Here's an alternative: You could use colored nail polish--there are so many colors out there now, it's amazing. You do get better control, but I found the finish to be really flat compared to the iridescence of the mica.

6.       After the resin has set for a bit, it's time to add the green to the wings. There are two ways to do this. You could use green colored resin made the same way you made the yellow, or you could wait until the yellow has cured and do another little trick that's kind of touchy but will leave a light iridescence like a real bug's wing. Here's how: Brush a matte finish sealant or glue on the wings and then lightly wipe some of it off with your finger. (Wipe your finger on a baby wipe to clean.) IMMEDIATELY dab your clean finger in the mica powder and gently smudge the color onto the wing. If you left enough glue, it will cling but there won't be a glob. You can then put another very light layer of glue or resin over it. Set aside to dry.

Alternative designs: Top left is nail polish on the body, resin on the wings. Top right is resin on both the body and the wings. Bottom is resin on the body, glue and mica powder on the wings.)
 
Finish the bracelet: I used E-6000 to attach the bee to vintage filigree that I had already patinated. A simple chain and toggle clasp finish it nicely. --SGB

To learn more ways to alter your metal jewelry components and add interest with color and texture, check out Helen Driggs's videos Metalsmith Essentials: Textures & Patinas vols. 1 and 2 on Craft Daily. You can watch that video--along with more than a dozen more and growing--as often as you like, whenever you like, with your jewelry niche video subscription to Craft Daily.

About the designer: Stephanie Gard Buss is a member of Nunn Design's Innovation Team. You can see more of her jewelry designs in her Max and Lucie Etsy shop.

Resources:
bee, resin: Nunn Design.com
filigree: Stephanie's site, www.ollapodrida.etsy.com


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Comments

sayuri7 wrote
on 27 Sep 2013 8:42 AM

Love this idea of coating a component with glue and mica powder, so similar to apply glitter on paper. When coating with nail polish I have found that if we apply a coat of dimensional magic then it doesnt look flat