Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Faux Rose Quartz with EasyCast

 This is my third Faux Gemstone:  Rose Quartz!
 If you have been following the blog I am using recipes created by Marie Browning to create gemstones made with EasyCast.
 Rose Quartz begins with a small batch of EasyCast.
Add Castin'Craft Red and Pearl Transparent Dyes for a light pink hue.  (I noticed that my Red Pigment was overpowering the mixture so I literally used a tiny drop on the end of a tooth pick instead of the full drop from the bottle.)
 Add a pinch of Metallic flakes.  
Mix well and pour into mold cavity.
I let this set up for a little over 30 minutes so the resin was starting to gel.
 Then I mixed a tiny bath of EasyCast and added White Opaque Pigment.
 I dropped a little of the white mixture into each mold and swirled the mixture!

I had no idea how the gems would look out of the mold.  I was so happy to see that they turned out great.  No two will ever be alike!

Post for the Amber Recipe
Post for Jade Recipe

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Faux Jade With EasyCast

 I have another gem stone to share with you today!
 Last week I introduced you to the free e-book that Environmental Technology Inc has on their website:  EasyCast Resin Jewelery.  Marie Browning wrote and designed all the projects and I followed her recipe to make Faux Amber.
Following her recipe made me think of this movie.
And in many ways I am "the Julie" recreating the master chef's recipes.
 The Faux Jade recipe is unbelievable simple!
Measure and mix EasyCast
Add Castin'Craft Green and Amber Transparent Dyes
 Add drops till you reach your desired shade.
 Add one drop of White Opaque Pigment for a semi-translucent piece.  
Mix well and pour into mold cavities.
Sprinkle a few pieces of black polymer clay bits into the cavity.
Let cure.
Faux Jade!!
I was a little heavy handed with the addition of the white pigment.  Next time I will add a little less!
Tomorrow:  Rose Quartz!

Post for the Amber Recipe

Monday, August 29, 2011

How To Preserve A Bird's Nest

 This paper weight is the newest object in my studio. 
 Earlier this summer I found this tiny egg and nest.  It was so small I had a hard time photographing the tiny wisps of string and twig in the net.

 I have been experimenting with EasyCast and felt I was ready to try it with something special. 
 I made a batch of EasyCast and prepared my mold. 
 The nest was so fragile I was starting to have second thoughts.....but I went ahead and covered it in EasyCast after placing the nest in the mold.
After leaving everything to cure in the mold for 48 hours my final paper weight turned out perfect!
My nest is preserved!

Friday, August 26, 2011

EasyCast-Clear Casting Epoxy - Marie Browning Projects

 Which amber is real?
Okay, that wasn't too hard because the real amber is already in a beautiful silver bezel.
 I wonder if you have seen the free books you can download as a PDF from Environmental Technology Inc?  EasyCast Resin Jewelery is chock full of amazing samples and projects.  If you were wondering what to do with your finished molded items I think this guide will give you plenty of ideas.
 The "Amazing Amber" section knocked my socks off.  Marie creates the most amazing samples and her instructions are excellent.
 This is my idea of a recipe book!
I printed this page so that I could try every "recipe" Marie included to make Faux Gems.

To make Faux Amber the recipe calls for:
EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy
A pinch of crushed dried rose petals
A pinch of copper metallic flakes
A pinch of gold metallic flakes
A mold
A few pieces of black polymer clay bits.
 I had everything I needed for the recipe!  
The only thing I added was a pinch of Mica flakes.
 This is way more fun than baking.....
 My mold positively glowed when I poured in the contents.  I probably could have added a little less copper flake......but I still love the end result.
Isn't this gorgeous!  This is definitely going to become a pendant!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

EasyCast-Clear Casting Epoxy - Part Two

 I really like results day!
Photographing the pieces from my first tray using EasyCast taught me a very important lesson.
 For molds that are deep (like the one I used) it makes much more sense to use EasyCast.  I have always loved Envirotex Lite.  Many of these blog posts feature Envirotex Lite and it really is ideal for resin work involving bezels, glazing and of course the classic table top or canvas top applications. 

EasyCast was designed for casting though!  
I think my results showcase how fantastic this product is.
 This is the mold I started with and if you go back the that post you will see how I set up my tray for use.
 I filled each tray opening with some special beads.  These are my new baubles, freshly popped from the mold.
 Crystal clear is the best description.
 Simple one colour themed molds look fantastic.
 This group of beads just glows in the EasyCast.  I will wait another day before I sand the edges a little.  EasyCast reminds you in the instructions the a full cure is 72 hours.
I had one small mistake though.  I will repair it, but I wanted to show it to you.
This star is missing some resin.  The purple bead settled in the corner and blocked the EasyCast from flowing underneath it.  Next time I mix up a batch of Envirotex Lite I will fill that hole!  I'll probably add another crystal now too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

EasyCast-Clear Casting Epoxy - Part One

 I have a new mold filled with colorful inclusions!
 I am excited to start my week of EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy posts. 
EasyCast is a two component, low odor, solvent free, clear casting epoxy. It’s ideal for casting small decorative items such as door knobs and jewelery components.
EasyCast is similiar to Envirotex Lite - but that does not mean you should not review the instructions that come in the box.  ETI always provides so much information on their information sheets that it would be a shame if you missed an important tip.

 Right away I noticed that EasyCast needs to be double mixed.  
After measuring equal parts of the resin and the hardener I poured them into a cup and mixed them with a wooden stick for two minutes.
 Then I poured my mixture into a second cup and with a new wooden stick mixed the contents again.
 This extra step insures that your mixture is perfect!
EasyCast can be used for deep pours!  You should never mix more than 6 ounces for any one project.  (you have to use Polyester Casting Resin for big projects) My mold has openings that are a little more than a 1/2 inch EasyCast is perfect for this project.
I added 1/4 inch of Easy Cast to each mold opening.
Then, I added interesting beads and jewelery components. That let me know how much extra EasyCast I needed to add to fill the openings to the brim.
After my beads and first pour had settled I poured more EasyCast to fill each mold opening to the brim.
I did all this in about 15 minutes.
EasyCast has been formulated to "de-bubble" or degas itself.  
I found very few bubbles!!!
Since many of my inclusions were beads, they did create some air pockets.  I passed my flame (from a lighter) very quickly over the surface of each mold opening that had a bubble.  That dealt with the bubbles immediately and I am leaving this tray to cure for 24 hours.
Results:  Tomorrow!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mold Give-a-Way Winners!

I am so happy to post five winners this Monday morning!
debbie said...
Would love to win the mold. Have loved resin since I took your course at mixed media.
The Bandy's said...
I love this blog and have learned so much from it - keep up the good work!
Etcetorize said...
This looks like a great mold. Love all the different shapes all together. Great giveaway!
Lynette said... 
How exciting! I have been dying to try this since finding your blog months ago and becoming a follower. Every post has me wanting to try even more. My Father did a lot in resin when I was a little girl, but nothing so cool as you do. Thank you for a chance to win this mold. Hug! 
Amber Ballard said...
Love this blog and resin, haven't tried a mold like this yet, would love to win one :)!!!!

You have one a great mold for resin making experiments!  Send me an email with your address so I can get the mold mailed to you this week:
This will be another great week of experiments!  
I am going to be working with EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy.

You'll love what can be done with Easy Cast!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bezels You Create Yourself!

 These really are not traditional bezels.  For those of us who love to pour resin we normally seek items that have a solid back and sides.  I have discovered over the years a few ways to work in vintage findings like these.  There is the open back bezel technique that many of us learned from Susan Leonart Kazmer or Suze Weinberg who introduced me to the red line tape. And there is a new technique I hope you will say you learned from me!
 I have been testing and experimenting with apoxie clays this summer.  I have been mainly working with Apoxie Sculpt which is a two part system.  As you can see, I am rolling the clay to form a thin sheet, like I would do if it was polymer clay.
 I then place my open back objects into the clay and cut away the excess.  What is different about this technique is that the clay cures rock solid without the use of an oven.  I leave the objects on my table overnight and the next day I have a new solid back.
 I either paint or apply paper to the new back and when all is dry I pour in Envirotex Lite as usual.
Now I have two new pieces I love from two old items I found in my junk drawer!