(Originally posted November 2011)
I literally just popped these two paper weights out of their molds!
A little over a week ago I got an email from a blog reader who wanted to know what I do with leaves. Living in Canada, the changing of the seasons means that many of us choose fall as their favorite time of the year. It is for me! I always stop to collect a leaf or two which I place between the pages of a book. They dry perfectly, but anyone who has done this knows the leaves can become very brittle.
I had an opportunity yesterday to work in my garage as the weather was unseasonably warm. It is probably the last time I will use Clear Polyester Casting Resin because this is the only resin I don't use in the house. You can see I wanted to embed two items; fragile leaves and an interesting shell I picked up in Florida. I did a series about Polyester Resin this summer which I have linked here.
Polyester resin is very different from Envirotex Lite or EasyCast. You really need to read everything about it before you use it.
My first step was to make a batch of the polyester resin. I poured it into my molds to about the 1/3 point. I waited 45 minutes for this to gell. In the summer it happens a lot quicker!
When you embed objects in this resin it is very helpful to coat the objects with resin first. There are fewer trapped bubbles if you do.
Here are my objects now sitting on that first layer of resin and I added a second thin layer of resin over them to both seal and to make them appear as though they were floating.
An hour later I made my final batch of resin. You can see I added black colorant to this resin and then filled the molds (not quite to the top or they are hard to pop out.) The temperature was starting to drop, so this layer did not gel quickly. I let everything cure overnight.
I could not wait to see them this morning. My shell looks like a beautiful flower!
My leaves will live on forever! The black resin base makes the colour pop!
I still have a little work to do. I will sand the rough edges and glue on a felt base to complete this project.
Tomorrow: The prettiest shells I have ever embellished!