Make These with Crystal Clay, PearlEx Powders & Colorized Resin
I am thrilled with how these pieces look! I knew I had a winner when we were asked over and over again, “do you also sell the stones.” This look really has a high-end feel, yet is fairly simple to execute.
I want to provide full disclosure with this tutorial. The samples in the above photo were created with real silver powder. This tutorial is being created with Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments created from ground mica. The finished result may vary.
Fast Tutorial Video:
Watch this Fast Video For a quick overview of the process and then read the full tutorial below!
Nunn Design Bezels
Crystal Clay – White
Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments-Silver
Nunn Design Resin Kit
Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments
Other Supplies Needed:
Toothpicks or headpins
Glossy business cards or card stock
Preparing Your Nunn Design Bezels:
Step 1. The Nunn Design Findings are oxidized to provide the aged look to the precious metal plating. The oxidization, when it comes into contact with the Crystal Clay could change the color of the clay. To avoid this, clean the findings thoroughly prior to applying the clay. Get the tip of a Q-Tip wet with rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidization on both sides of the bezels.
Mixing and Applying the Crystal Clay:
Step 2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the handling and mixing of the Crystal Clay. While wearing gloves, pinch off two equal sized balls of Part A and Part B and blend together fully until the clay is no longer marbled and uniform in color.
Tip: I guesstimate the amount of Crystal Clay that I will need to fill the bezels for the project I’m working on. I would recommend under mixing the amount of clay and having to mix frequently, versus feeling the pressure to work fast or have waste.
You have approximately 90-120 minutes of working time before the clay starts to harden, so take your time. Once the clay is thoroughly mixed, remove your gloves to make it easier to work with the clay.
Tip: Make sure to wrap up your Crystal Clay to prevent it from drying out and hardening. Store Part A and Part B in separate zip-lock bags.
Step 3. Pinch off the amount of mixed Crystal Clay that you guess will fit into your Nunn Design Bezel. Roll the thoroughly mixed Crystal Clay between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball.
Step 4. Press the ball of mixed Crystal Clay into your bezel using the tips of your fingers. For this particular technique, I wanted the Crystal Clay to be flush and level with the sides of the bezel.
If you have too much clay, you can pinch off the excess and pat down until smooth again, or remove it from the bezel altogether and remove the excess.
For the navette shaped bezels, roll the Crystal Clay into a tube before embedding it into the bezel. Pinch off the excess clay and pat it down into the bezel bases, leaving it level with the top.
If filling the corners with Crystal Clay is challenging, use a toothpick to press the clay up into the corners of the bezel. Pat the toothpick marked clay with your fingers until smooth.
Tip: It is easy to get little fibers mixed into the clay. Use a toothpick to remove them from the clay and pat the surface smooth again
Step 5. Use a wet-wipe to clean-up any excess Crystal Clay that might have been left on the jewelry finding. The Crystal Clay hardens like cement, so cleaning it up now and being tidy as you go makes the process easier and the results so much nicer.
Apply PearlEx Powder:
Step 6. Before the Crystal Clay cures, dip a Q-Tip into some Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments. Rub the Q-Tip gently over the full surface of the Crystal Clay until all of the clay is colorized.
Step 7. Allow the Crystal Clay to cure for 2 hours. It will continue to cure over the next 12 hours, but after 2 hours it will be hard to the touch. Wipe away any PearlEx Powder that might be on the side edges of the bezel.
Mixing Nunn Design Resin:
Step 8. Read the resin instructions for safety concerns regarding the Nunn Design Resin.
When I work with resin, I always:
- Have my room heated around 70-73°
- Place a large plastic bag over my work surface and tape it down
- Make sure I have ventilation in my workroom
- Wear gloves
- Wear glasses (readers because I can’t see anymore. Plus it protects my eyes!)
- Have a pile of wet wipes handy
This is a great blog post that covers 20 Habits for Successfully Using Nunn Design 2-Part Epoxy Resin. Even if you are a seasoned resin mixer, this might be worth a read.
Step 9. Place one cup (included in the Nunn Design Resin Kit) onto your table. For curing purposes, it is very important that the resin be an exact 1 to 1 ratio of Part A and Part B. I suggest getting your eyes level with the resin so you can see the lines on the measuring cup.
Pour Part A of your resin kit up to the 1 TBS mark on your measuring cup.
Pour Part B of your resin kit into the same cup until it is filled to the 2 TBS mark.
It is important to pour Part A first and then Part B. It is some chemical thing about part A being heavier or something.
Step 10. Set your timer for 2 minutes. Using the stir stick from your kit (a popsicle stick or coffee stir stick will work great too), slowly and carefully stir your resin scraping the sides as you stir. Stir for a minimum of 2 minutes. If your resin is still cloudy continue to mix until clear.
After mixing is complete and your resin is clear, scrape both sides of your stir stick on the edge of your resin filled cup.
Colorizing the Nunn Design Resin:
Step 11. To create 2017, 2018 and 2019 Pantone Colors, take a look at these blog posts for the color mixing formulas:
- 2017 Pantone Color Formulas using Nunn Design 2-Part Resin and Opaque Pigments
- 2018 Pantone Color Formulas using Nunn Design 2-Part Resin and Opaque Pigments
- 2019 Pantone Color Formulas using Nunn Design 2-Part Resin and Opaque Pigments
Step 12. To colorize the resin, place another empty resin mixing cup onto your work area. Pour the clear, mixed resin into the cup, filling it to the 1 TSP mark.
The Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments are very potent. Let’s define what a “tiny toothpick tip” and a “toothpick tip” amount of colorant should look like. This is not an exact science. If you don’t get the exact amount, your color will still come out fairly close.
A “tiny toothpick tip” should look like this.
A “toothpick tip” should looks like this.
Step 13. Add in a tiny toothpick of Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment – Blue and then stir gently until the colorants are fully mixed together. Let resin sit for 5 minutes to let the bubbles rise to the surface and pop.
Tip: Be sure that the colorant does not equal more than 10% of your resin as having more than 10% could cause issues with curing.
Step 14. I tend to work in a small area (typically my kitchen table), so I like to work on a surface that projects can be easily moved around and not disturbed. Place some business cards or some heavy card stock onto your work surface, making it easy to move the pendants without getting any resin on your fingers.
Tip: I would recommend covering the card with glossy packing tape. This will prevent the resin from sticking to the paper.
Step 15. Drizzle a small amount of colorized resin onto the surface of your cured and firm to the touch Crystal Clay.
Step 16. Let the resin cure for 12-14 hours. It will be hard to the touch, but resin continues to cure for the next 72 hours. Place a small plastic container over the bezels to prevent dust from getting into the resin as it cures.
Step 17. If you have resin that has over-poured or seeped under the bezel and onto the card, wait about 6 hours until the resin is at its “soft cure” phase. Remove the bezel from the card. The resin will still be soft. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to bend back the resin from the bezel.
The resin will easily separate and peel off of the bezel.
Tip: If you need to clean up over-spills, set a timer to remind yourself to check your resin in the soft cure stage (5-6 hours).
Assemble into Something Fabulous!
We have these finished pieces specced out in our gallery if you’d like to know exactly which Nunn Design chains, findings and bezels were used for each example piece!
- Drei: Organic Bezel Mini Rings
- Fulles: Large Leaf Bracelet
- Exspiravit: Organic Bezel Mini Circle Necklace
- Sensum: Classic Deep Pendant Mini Circle Necklace
- Caelum: Classic Deep Pendant Itsy Circle Necklace
- Quadrat: Earring Large Square Earrings
- Caecus: Earring Post Itsy Circle Earrings
- Petit: Earring Wire 6mm Circle Earrings
Ideas For Excess Resin!
If you are stressing because of the waste, here are a couple of tutorials that are ideal for resin that is getting very thick and goopy.
- Colorized Resin Gems Tutorial
- Texturized Resin in Open Frame Hoops Tutorial + Video
- Making Molds with Organics to Create Sculpted Resin Tutorial + Video
- Nunn Design Resin Drop Pendants using Excess Resin and Gilding Flakes
Learn How With Videos!
Here are two videos we did with Fusionbeads.com on preparing Nunn Design 2-Part Resin, and colorizing it!
- How to Prepare and Mix Nunn Design Resin with Becky Nunn | Fusion Beads
- How to Colorize Nunn Design Resin with Pigments with Becky Nunn | Fusion Beads
Shop the Supplies!
With each of our Buy & Try Tutorials, all of the supplies you will need are available for purchase.
Shop Wholesale Bulk:
- Nunn Design Bezels
- Nunn Design Resin Kit
- Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments
- Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments-Silver
- Mica Flakes
How to Purchase Wholesale?
If you are interested in becoming one of the many designers who trust their jewelry to Nunn Design Findings, please join us by registering to become one of our wholesale customers!
Nunn Design primarily sells wholesale, but we do offer Retail Kits and Retail Buy & Try Programs for certain projects. For all other findings, please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.
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