I was recently asked if it was possible to embed organics into Epoxy Clay and apply Nunn Design Resin. Well, YES! It is a great way to add a splash of color behind the organics. This is the 6th tutorial of our 12 Tutorials to Unwrap Your Creativity!
Here is what you will learn in this tutorial:
- How to preserve organics
- How to mix and embed Epoxy Clay into Nunn Design Bezels
- How to embed organics into Epoxy Clay
- How to mix Nunn Design Resin
- How to apply the Nunn Design Resin with success!
Nunn Design Supplies:
- Nunn Design Bezels
- Epoxy Clay-Black
- Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
- Dried and pressed flowers
- Resin Spray (for some flowers)
- Stir Sticks
- Mixing Cups
- Business Cards or glossy card stock
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Plastic Bags
- Needle Nose Pliers
Preserving and Preparing the Organics
1. To ensure that your dried and pressed flowers are ready for resin, please read A Beginners Guide to Drying and Preparing Organics for Creating Resin Jewelry. The preparation of drying and pressing of your flowers is a critical step for avoiding bubbles in your resin.
2. Some dried and pressed flowers will become totally translucent when exposed to resin. If you want to reduce your risk of this happening, you may want to get in the habit of spraying Castin’ Crafts Resin Spray on all your flowers before embedding them into resin. The resin spray is very fast drying, easy to apply and will seal your dried and pressed flowers nicely.
Place dried and pressed flowers in a cardboard box with high sidewalls and head outside when it is time to spray. Spray the dried and pressed flowers on one side, then turn over and spray the other side.
If you don’t want to go this route of purchasing resin spray (sorry, it is expensive for us to ship this, so we don’t offer it on our site), you can have some extra dried and pressed flowers at the ready in case the flowers that you wanted to use become translucent and aren’t working for you. Because there are gazillions of options of flowers (well, maybe not that many) it is way too hard to know what will work for sure and what won’t. You will have to experiment.
TIP: This vendor has free shipping on Amazon.
3. Lay out the various Nunn Design Bezels, and the dried flowers you would like to work with, onto your work surface. Select organics that will work best with the various sizes of the bezels.
4. Use a pair of flush cutters or scissors to trim your organics to fit into the various bezels.
TIP: Work with organics that are pressed flat. If the height of the organics is too high, the resin won’t be able to “dome” over the top of the organics and the organics will protrude out the top.
5. The Nunn Design Bezels are oxidized to provide an aged look to the precious metal plating. The oxidization, when it comes into contact with the Epoxy Clay and Nunn Design Reins, it discolor the clay and resin. To avoid this, clean the bezels thoroughly prior to application.
Dip the tip of a Q-Tip into rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidization from the bezels surface.
Mixing and Applying the Epoxy Clay
6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the handling and mixing of the Epoxy Clay-Epoxy 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 of clay.
7. Roll the thoroughly mixed Epoxy Clay between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball. I like it to be smooth because it prevents from having creases in the clays surface. Press the ball into your bezel with your fingers to create an even smooth surface in the clay.
8.Press the Epoxy Clay into the bezel. You will want the clay to be flush to the inside lip of the bezel and not domed. This will make it easier to apply your organics and resin in the upcoming steps. If the Epoxy Clay is not flush with the edge of the bezel you can add more or pinch off excess. Pat down the surface of the clay with your finger tips to make sure the surface is nice and smooth.
Tip: If filling the corners with Epoxy Clay is a challenge on the square and rectangle shaped bezels, use a toothpick to press the clay up into the corners of the bezel. Pat down the toothpick marked clay with your fingers until smooth.
9. Using a wet-wipe, clean up any excess Epoxy Clay that might have been left on the bezel. The Epoxy 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. Allow the Epoxy Clay to dry for at least 2 hours, or until it is hard to the touch. If you have indentations in the Epoxy Clay, use a Q-Tip to smooth those out.
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.
Mixing Nunn Design Resin:
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
Applying Organics and Resin to Epoxy Clay:
14. Using a pair of tweezers, place the organics onto the uncured Epoxy Clay. Press the organics down into the clay with your fingertips. The organics should be fully embedding into the Epoxy Clay without any chance of air bubbles being lodged under the organics.
15. Drizzle a small amount of clear resin over the organics. Use a toothpick to agitate the resin around the organics, especially the flower area. Agitating the resin will help to dislodge any air that might be trapped inside the organics or within the clay. After agitating the resin, drizzle a small amount more of the resin onto the surface of the clay and organics. Drag the resin to the edges of the bezel. Nunn Design Resin is self-doming and wants to know where the edge is. Once it reaches the edge it will stop. To create a higher dome, drizzle more resin onto the Epoxy Clay until you have the a domed effect you would like.
Curing & Clean Up:
16. You will want to ‘babysit’ your resin again 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.
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 away from the bezels surface.
18. 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.
19. If the organics protruding out from the resin apply another coat of resin over the top of the dried and pressed flowers to make sure they are protected a wee bit more.
20. Assemble into something wonderful!
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 findings: Mini Pendant Heart (mphs), Itsy Link Double Loop Circle (ildc) and Mini Link Double Loop Long Rectangle (mldlr).
Shop Nunn Design Wholesale
Nunn Design has been supplying jewelry artists with findings for over 20 years. Shop wholesale jewelry findings for creative jewelry makers.Shop Nunn Design!
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!
Please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.
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