This tutorial is the first of two tutorials that explore the use of Wire Frames with Resin and Pearl Ex Powder. All the supplies used in this tutorial is part of our Nunn Design Buy & Try Program.
Nunn Design offers the Buy & Try Programs to encourage jewelry makers, both wholesale and retail, to buy the products needed to try something new.
It is always exciting to see new techniques and projects, but sometimes it takes forever to gather the supplies for that afternoon of creating.
In this tutorial, learn how to hammer flat a Nunn Design Wire Frame, prepare the Wire Frame to use with Nunn Design 2-Part Resin, mix Nunn Design 2-Part Resin and then colorize it. All of these steps will lead you to create unique pendants or earrings that are translucent and nearly glass-like.
Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
Wire Frames Large Drop
Jacquard PearlEx Powders
Ball Pein Hammer 8 OZ.
Steel Bench Block
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 Resin could change the color. To avoid this, clean the findings thoroughly prior to applying the resin. Get the tip of a Q-Tip wet with rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidization on all the surfaces of the bezel.
The Wire Frame doesn’t lay flat, so it can be a little challenging to create a dome with mixed resin. To create a flat surface on the Wire Frame, use a hammer and bench block to slightly flatten the wire. Place the Wire Frame Large Drop on the bench block, keeping the looped area off the side of the block. Slightly hammer the wire all the way around. On the top looped area, slightly tap to flatten this area too.
Cut a piece of packing tape and place it sticky side up on your work surface. Place your Wire Frame onto the tape. Press down and rub your hammered wire frame back and forth on your work surface, burnishing the tape onto the backside of the frame. Trim away any excess of the packing tape to avoid it from getting attached to anything while you are pouring or letting your piece cure. Trust me…it happens!
TIP: 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 cured Resin piece when you remove the tape. Try to use an area of the tape that does not have blotches or marks.
Place your Wire Frame that is attached to the packing tape on the bench block. Be sure that all edges are in full contact with the packing tape. Placing it on the bench block can help you even those areas around the loop and ensure contact with the tape.
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. Placing some business cards or some heavy card stock onto your work surface makes it easy to move the pendants without getting any resin on your fingers.
Tip: Covering the card with glossy packing tape will prevent the resin from sticking to the paper card.
Mixing Nunn Design Resin:
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.
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.
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.
Using a stir stick, start to slowly drizzle the mixed Nunn Design 2-Part Resin into your Wire Frame. Go slowly, it is easier to keep adding more resin than it is to over pour and have to clean up. I tend to pour the resin in the center of the wire frame to start and use a toothpick to move the resin around over to the edges of the Wire Frame. Pour in enough resin to have the full center area of the Wire Frame covered, but not so much that the resin is highly domed.
To add color to your piece, you can sprinkle in some PearlEx Mica Powder into the resin and then blend it together with a toothpick. You can also mix the mica powders into resin on the side and then add it to the Wire Frame. Each piece will come out unique.
Once you have added your PearlEx Mica Powders and blended them if you would like to create a higher resin dome, drizzle on an additional amount of mixed 2-part resin into the Wire Frame. Let the Wire Frame pieces dry until cured (up to 12 hours).
TIP: Use Castin’ Craft’ Opaque Pigments to colorize your 2-part resin or Glitter Roxs to add a colorful accent.
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 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 that won’t pop with your “huff,” use a toothpick to gently 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 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 needle-nose pliers to bend back the resin from the bezel. The resin will easily separate and peel off of the bezel.
Let the resin cure for 12-14 hours. The resin will be hard to the touch but will continue 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.
Remove the packing tape from the backside once fully cured. If you do it after 12 hours 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. Still sticky, try Goo Be Gone! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
I applied a couple of drops on the backside and let it sit for over a minute. I then used a stir stick to scrape the tape’s residue. It was fast and easy. Once clean, just use rubbing alcohol or a wet-wipe to wipe clean.
Assemble the pendants into something fun!
Shop the Supplies!
With each of our Buy & Try Tutorials, all of the supplies you will need are available for purchase.
Shop Wholesale Bulk:
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.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe to our blog. Here are 10 Reasons Why to Subscribe and a place to do so!