Finding products that work for you and your environment can be challenging. After researching products that would adhere to my goals in creating hypoallergenic pieces, I found ArtResin. When my resin journey began, I was creating pieces out of my studio apartment in Chicago. With limited space and safety concerns, I searched for a product that is non-hazardous, non-flammable, and odor free. ArtResin not only shares these qualities, but creates products that are beautiful and safe for your skin. ArtResin is a company that genuinely cares about people. It is a company "created for artists by artists." I decided to create a How-To segment of my site to show appreciation for this company and it's impact on the artist community.
Hand-Painted, lightweight, comfortable, and versatile, these earrings are popular for it's recognizable print and unique shape.
How To Create Hand-Painted Cow Earrings
Approximately 4.5 ounces of mixed ArtResin (www.artresin.com)
2/3 cups of mixed ArtResin Mold Making Material (www.artresin.com)
White and Black Acrylic Paint
6 disposable medicine measuring cups (for resin)
Two 1/3 measuring cups (mold)
12-ounce disposable cups
2 wooden stir sticks
1 kitchen butane torch
Dremel with sanding bit
1. Make Earring Mold.
For this project, I've recycled a disposable cardboard jewelry box and some old pieces of wood for my earring shapes. I lined my cardboard box with packaging tape in order to create a clean and even surface for our ArtResin's Molding Making Material. This can be found online here. (I've used other mold making materials and ArtResin's is the most durable. It has a short cure time of three hours and is odorless.) By securing the box with tape, I am creating a sturdier mold that can be used repeatedly for duplicate pairs of earrings. I glued my wooden pieces to the taped box and let them dry for a few minutes.
Once the container was created, sealed with tape, and the wooden pieces were glued to the bottom, I mixed equal parts (1/3 cup) of A and B of ArtResin's Mold Making Material. I poured the mixture over my wooden pieces while making sure that the entire area was sealed and the wooden pieces were completely covered.
I then let the mix cure for 3 hours. I released the mold from the container and gently pulled my wooden pieces from the Mold Making Material. The mold is ready for resin.
2. Prepare and Pour Resin.
I've been using ArtResin Epoxy Resin for a few years now so I am able to estimate how much resin needed for a pair of earrings. I usually mix extra in case I make a mistake. For this pair, I know that 2 ounces of resin is plenty. I used my medicine measuring cups to measure 1 ounce of resin and 1 ounce of hardener. I then combined the equal parts and stirred.
The base of my cow-print earrings are white. I used acrylic paint to create a solid background that contrasts well with the black spots that I add later. ArtResin offers colors and tints if you would like to experiment with other paint materials. For this project, acrylic paint works well.
I stirred a dab of white paint into my ArtResin mix and poured onto my mold.
After the white resin was poured, I let sit for a few minutes as the air bubbles rose to the surface. I used a butane torch to eliminate the remaining bubbles. I then let cure for 12 hours.
3. Paint and Coat.
Once the white resin was cured and solidified, I added the black cow spots with acrylic paint. I used a toothpick as my paintbrush. I then allowed the paint to dry for a few hours. It is essential that the paint is completely dry before adding the top coat of clear resin. If your paint isn't completely dry, your colors will bleed and your piece will be an entirely new creation.
After the paint dried, I mixed 1 ounce of ArtResin and 1 ounce of ArtResin Hardener to create a resin clear coat. I poured the clear resin over the surface. I allowed the air bubbles to rise to the top and then eliminated the remaining with the butane torch. (The same process as referenced in step two). I then allowed the top coat to cure for another 12 hours.
4. Smooth and Seal Earring Backs.
After the clear coat of resin cured, I carefully pulled my painted pieces out of the mold. I used my Dremel to smooth the edges. I try to make the earrings as comfortable as possible. Smoothing the edges helps avoid accidental scratches to the skin and getting caught on clothing and scarves.
The final step is adding the earring backs and securing them with resin. I attached my acrylic earring post with a strong glue. I use E6000. After the glue has dried, I added a clear resin seal. I seal my earring backs in resin because it creates a smooth finish to the backing of the piece while ensuring that the back stays in place. Some glues cause skin irritation. Coating the glue in resin eliminates the problem of possible reactions. In addition, glue often deteriorates over time. I found that resin protects the earring posts from popping off and getting damaged from long-term wear.
A dab of glue and a few dabs of resin is all that is needed to secure the posts. I mixed 1/2 ounce of ArtResin Hardener and 1/2 ounce of ArtResin in my medical measuring cup and coated the base of the earring post. I use a pointed wooden stick as my applicator. I allowed the resin to cure for another 12 hours. After the final cure, the earrings were complete and ready to wear for years to come. Enjoy!