Like many of you, I’m a huge fan of polymer clay artist, Christi Friesen. I’m so pleased that she has agreed to let us share this Tiny Tidepool Tutorial that she created using a Nunn Design Open Frame Bezel. Due to the sea theme, bubbles in your resin are a BONUS! Take it a way Christi!! – B
Tiny Tidepool Tutorial
Resin is the perfect way to make something look wet. And what’s wetter than water?! Let’s make some little anemones from polymer and then use resin to create a tiny little tidepool for them to live in!
Making the anemones is so simple! Just start with tiny balls of polymer (any color will work, and poke a large indentation in the middle. Tentacles are just teensy, stubby snakes of clay. Use a tool to pick each one up and press onto the sides of the indentation.
Make several anemones, and make at least one a little smaller. (Oh, by the way, you should have your bezel nearby so you don’t make them too big to fit!)
For the smaller anemone, you can gather a clump of tentacles and pinch/roll one end together into a point. Pick it up with a needle tool and press the pointed end into the
Indentation. Having different sizes looks more interesting.
To make them look more natural, add texture with the tip of your needle tool and create shading and pops of color with powders. (Use a soft paintbrush to dust mica powder or chalk powder directly onto the surface of the clay.)
These little dudes are ready to bake. Follow the instructions on your polymer clay packaging. Let them cool completely after baking.
While they’re baking – let’s prepare the bezel!
I used a fun little open-backed bezel from Nunn Design. And we’ll be using a UV resin (I used Lisa Pavelka’s MagicGlos).
I chose an open bezel because I liked the idea of seeing through the piece, to really emphasize the water. Of course you can use a regular bezel with a backing if you prefer!
We’ll need something to block the resin from leaking all over when we fill the bezel. Guess what works great? TAPE!
Rip off a piece of wide shipping tape and press it to the back side of the bezel. If you get wrinkles in it, try again. Rub it firmly to make sure it’s a tight seal.
Now add resin! Ok, let me back up.
Let’s talk real quick about the resin first.
MagicGlos and other UV resins need UV light to harden. They don’t air-dry, only UV light will cure them. So use a special UV lamp, or the sun. The resin is premixed, so that’s nice.
Squeeze in a small amount, enough to make a layer about an eighth of an inch thick, and swirl the bezel around gently and slowly to make the resin spread evenly all over the tape.
Cure that layer for about 10-15 minutes in your UV lamp/direct UV light from the sun.
By now your anemones are probably cool after baking, right? Let’s add them right on top of that cured layer of resin.
You can just press them down inside the bezel. If you need to glue them in place to make sure your positioning stays, it’s fine to use a little bit of super glue to stabilize the arrangement.
Let the glue dry completely before going back to the resin filling!
Now just fill the bezel up by adding resin one thin layer after another, curing each. You can add sand, glitter, mica powder as you go along by swirling it into the new layer of resin with a toothpick.
Once it’s as full as you like it, and the top layer has been cured, flip it over so the back of the piece can have a chance at the UV light. Sometimes the resin underneath added pieces doesn’t get quite enough UV light to cure, so flipping it will make sure it’s all properly exposed.
Once it’s cured, you should be able to slowly pull the tape off the back.
When you take the tape off, if any tape glue remains on the resin, just use the tape to pull it back off. Easy peasy.
(Oh and I didn’t try to remove any air bubbles as I poured the resin, in fact I tried to add a few extra bubbles! I think they just add to the watery look of the piece, don’t you?!)
So there you are – a tiny tidepool! Isn’t it sweet?
Thanks again, Christi for sharing your tutorial with us!
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