Colorizing Resin in an Open Back Bezel with Organics
Adding organics over colorized resin creates a stunning effect. This technique does require multiple resin pours, but the results are unique and beautiful.
To ensure that your organics are ready for resin, please read the previous blog post that covers 6 tips for preparing organics for resin. The preparation and drying of your organics is a critical step for avoiding bubbles in your resin. 6 Tips on How to Prepare & Embed Organics in Nunn Design 2-Part Resin–
Here is another blog post that you might be interested in; How to Make 2017 Summer Pantone Colors with Colorized Resin. In this post I list formulas for mixing Nunn Design Resin with Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments to create colors from the 2017 Summer Pantone selection.
Nunn Design Open Pendants
Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments; Red, White and Brown
Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
Business Cards or glossy card stock
Needle Nose Pliers
Cut a piece of packing tape and place it on your work surface. Place an Open Pendant onto the tape. Using your fingertips, press the pendant down onto the packing tape and rub back and forth on your work surface to make sure it is burnished down.
Check to see that your packing tape is clear and there is no residue or mottling in the adhesive. If there is, it will show up in your finished resin piece when you remove the tape once the resin is cured. Try to use an area of the tape that does not have blotches or marks.
Trim away any excess packing tape from around your Open Frame Hoop to avoid the curing resin piece from being potentially disturbed.
I like to place each bezel on its own individual piece of packing tape. It makes the pouring easier to manage and eliminates the chance of disturbing the bezel next to it.
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.
Read the resin instructions for safety concerns regarding the Nunn Design Resin.
When I work with resin, I always:
- Place a large plastic bag over my work surface and tape it down.
- I make sure I have ventilation in my workroom.
- I wear gloves.
- I wear glasses (readers because I can’t see anymore. Plus it protects my eyes!).
- I 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.
- You can also watch this great video on How to Mix Nunn Design Resin
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 ½ fluid ounce mark on your measuring cup. Pour Part B of your resin kit into the same cup until it is filled to the 1 fluid ounce mark. It is important to pour Part A first and then Part B. It is some chemical thing about the part B being heavier or something.
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 the full 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, scrape both sides of your stir stick on the edge of your resin filled cup.
To create 2017 Summer Pantone Colors, take a look at this earlier post or download the pdf. For this tutorial, I colorized my resin with Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments; red, white and brown to create a Pale Dogwood color.
The formula for Pale Dogwood, Pantone 13-1404 TPX is:
- 1 tsp Nunn Design Resin
- 1 tiny toothpick tip Red
- 8 toothpicks tips White
- 5 toothpicks tips Brown
Here is a visual of what a “tiny toothpick tip” and a “toothpick tip” look like.
On a piece of plastic, such as a Ziplock bag, squeeze a little of the Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments. This will prevent you from contaminating your colorants with mixed Nunn Design Resin as you add the toothpicks of color to the resin.
Place another empty resin mixing cup onto your work area. Pour the clear resin from Step 6 into the cup, filling it to the 1 tsp mark. Add in the colorants from the formula in Step 7 to create the Pale Dogwood color. Stir gently until the colorant is 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.
Slowly drizzle your mixed colorized resin into the Open Pendant until the base of the bezel is filled.
Use a toothpick to agitate the resin and make sure there aren’t any air bubbles lurking below the surface.
If you have any resin where you don’t want it, use a Q-Tip to clean up the surface. If any of the resin spills over the sides, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to easily clean that up once the resin is slightly cured.
Set the bezel aside for 12 hours until the resin is slightly cured. If you see bubbles rising to the surface, using your hot breath, breathe on them. It isn’t a “blow” sort of breath – more of a “huff” sort of a breath. The hot air will make the bubbles expand, rise to the surface and pop. As the resin starts to set-up and become thicker, it will be more difficult for the air to rise to the surface. Make sure to check in on the curing resin and double check for air bubbles. If you do have some bubbles, use a toothpick to gentle drag them over to the sides. This agitation process will help them to pop. When the resin is thick and taffy like in texture it is time to let it be. If you attempt to pop bubbles at this time, you may end up with a gooey mess.
If you do have some overflow, let your resin filled bezel set for 12 hours. After 12 hours, the resin will be set, but still very flexible. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to pry away the resin from the pendant. The resin will easily peel away and is fairly easy to pick-off with your fingernails.
Remove the packing tape from the backside once fully cured. If you do it after 12 hours (like I did so I could remove the spillage from step 15) the resin will still be very flexible and can easily “bow” within the bezel. Just go slow and don’t press or pull too hard.
If you have any excess residue from the packing tape on the backside, use the tape to remove it like you would when you are removing lint or animal fur from your clothes. Keep touching the packing tape onto the sticky surface until it is no longer sticky. If the residue isn’t coming up, try Goo Be Gone! Follow the manufacture’s instructions for best results. I applied a couple drops on the backside and let it sit for over a minute. I then used a stir stick to scrape the tapes residue. To remove all that sticky mess, pour some rubbing alcohol onto a wet-wipe and wipe it away.
Here is an example of what your finished piece will look like if air bubbles are trapped in the resin. I have had this happen mostly around the edges of the bezel. Take your time with Step 12 to prevent this from occurring.
After the resin has cured the 12 hours, it is time to add in your organics. To learn about how to prepare organics for resin, you can visit our blog for the full tutorial or download the pdf. Your resin should still be slightly tacky so it will be easy to put your organics into the colorized resin base of your bezel and have it stay in position. If the resin is hard and no longer tacky, you will need to use a bit of glue on the backside of the organics to have it stay in position when you apply the second coat of resin. If the organics are not “set into” the resin, they will rise and float to the top of the resin and potentially protrude out from the resin. This isn’t ideal because the organics could easily be damaged from wear. It is easy to fix, but it will require a third pour of clear resin over the top of the protruding organics.
Follow Steps 4-6 for mixing another batch of clear Nunn Design Resin. Drizzle a small amount onto the surface of the colorized resin- just enough to coat the surface.
Use a pair of tweezers to place your organics into the bezel. Gently press the organics into the resin with a toothpick.
Drizzle more resin over the top of the organics, but only until it is slightly filled. You will want to continue to be able to poke at the organics making sure there are no air bubbles. If you pour too much resin in, the resin can easily overflow.
Once you have agitated your resin around the areas of the organics, drizzle more resin into the pendant until it is domed. Use a toothpick to pull the resin out to the edges of the bezels. Let cure.
Here is an example of the organics protruding out from the resin. I’m going to apply another coat of resin over the top of this one to make sure that the organics are protected a wee bit more.
Optional: What to do with the Excess Resin
If you have excess colorized resin from this project, don’t let it go to waste. Pour the resin onto a plastic bag and let it cure. Once the resin is cured for 12 hours, you can cut the resin with scissors and create interesting patterns. See our tutorial on our blog to learn more: Create Colorized Resin Mosaics with Excess Resin Tutorials.
Assemble into something wonderful!
Download PDF Tutorial: How To Colorize Resin In An Open Back Bezel With Organics
Over the next couple weeks we will be providing a series of tutorials on how to use colorized resin within open back bezels.
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