This technique is really fast and fairly easy. Roll the mixed Crystal Clay into a ball and apply the Gilding Flakes around the outside of the rolled ball. When you press the ball into the bezel, the Gilding Flakes crack and provide a very interesting effect. This is the 8th tutorial of our 12 Tutorials to Unwrap Your Creativity!
Here is what you will learn in this tutorial:
- How to mix Crystal Clay
- How to embed Gilding Flakes in Crystal Clay and embed into a Nunn Design Bezels
- How to mix Nunn Design Resin
- How to apply the Nunn Design Resin
- Nunn Design Bezels
- Crystal Clay-Black
- Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
- Gilding Flakes
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Stir Sticks
- Mixing Cups
- Business Cards or glossy card stock
- Plastic Bags
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Tweezers (optional)
Mixing and Applying the Crystal Clay
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 sizes of the bezels.
2. Crystal Clay is epoxy clay that air-dries. It sets in 2 hours and continues to cure 14-16 hours. There is no baking required, no shrinkage and in this tutorial, I don’t even let it dry before applying the resin!
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. 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. For this tutorial, I mixed a blueberry size of both Part A and B of clay because I wanted to fill multiple bezels. For each bezel I pinched off a small pea ball size of clay.
3. For each bezel pinch off a section of mixed Crystal Clay and roll it into a smooth ball using the palms of your hands. To get an idea if you have just the right amount of clay, place the ball into the bezel. If it looks like the ball of Crystal Clay once pressed into the bezel is going to have a very high dome, pinch off some of the ball and roll it again in the palm of your hands until the clay is smooth again. If it looks like there isn’t enough clay, add some more and roll until smooth.
4. Use a toothpick or a pair of tweezers to pick-up gilding flakes and lay the flakes down on your work surface. Place the round ball of uncured wet Crystal Clay onto the gilding flakes and roll gently picking up the gilding flakes and having them adhere to the ball. Once you have the gilding flakes embedded onto the clay and in the position that you want, use your fingertips to press, rub and smooth the flakes down on the clay.
5. Roll the gilded flake covered Crystal Clay ball in the palm of your hand using your fingertips.. Continue rolling until the gilding flakes are smooth and fully adhered to the Crystal Clay.
6. Press the gilded ball of Crystal Clay into your bezel with your fingers. Sculpt the shape of the ball with your fingers until you have the desired effect that you would like.
7. Once all the bezels are finished, use a wet-wipe to clean away any excess clay from the sidewalls of the bezel.
Mixing and Applying the Nunn Design Resin
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 the part A being heavier or something.
11. 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.
If the resin is slightly cloudy, continue to stir the resin until it is no long cloudy or marbled. The resin should be clear.
12. Using a toothpick, drizzle a small amount of the mixed resin over the Crystal Clay Gilding Flakes until the surface is covered. To create a high dome of resin, continue to drizzle additional resin.
Curing & Clean Up:
13. You will want to ‘babysit’ your resin for the next 1 – 2 hours. 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.
14. 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.
15. Let the resin cure. It will start to be hard to the touch as early as 12 hours, but the resin will continue to cure up to 72 hours.
16. Assemble into something special!
Shop Supplies Wholesale:
Nunn Design primarily sells wholesale, but we do offer Retail Kits and Retail Buy & Try Programs. For all other findings, please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.
Shop the Supplies Wholesale:
For this tutorial, I used the following Bezels: Traditional Pendant Circle (tpc) and Traditional Pendant Oval (tpo).
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