Resin Petri Coaster: Step-by-Step

Petri art coaster: create colourful coasters and impress your friends!

Close up of Resin Petri Art

Petri Art combines resin with alcohol inks to create three dimensional splashes of colour with unpredictable results.

It’s not essential to use the Pinãta alcohol inks, but we much prefer them due to the richness of their colour and superior lightfast qualities. Make sure you include the Blanco Blanco white to get the proper petri effects.

These fabulous coasters are so simple yet stunning that you’ll want to make lots in different colours!

Instructions (see below for images)

  1. Mix up 15ml of Resin8 Heat Resistant Resin as per the instructions (10ml resin and 5 ml hardener) and pour it into your mould. You can use a heat gun to get rid of bubbles. Allow this clear layer to at least partially if not fully cure. This can take up to 24 hours but you’ll probably find it is ready in 12 hours (especially if you keep it in a warm place and warm the resin first). Having a clear layer of this special resin on what will be the top of your coaster will ensure it’s properly protected against the heat of a hot coffee or hot chocolate!
  2. When the resin has partially or fully cured, mix up 30ml of the same resin (20ml resin and 10ml hardener) and fill your mould to the top. You can give it a gentle blast with a heat gun if bubbles appear. Give the bottle of Pinãta Blanco Blanco (white) alcohol ink a good shake before adding a few drops randomly into the mould.
  3. Quickly add a drop of Calabaza Orange ink inside each white blob.
  4. Add another drop of Blanco Blanco to the inside of each blob.
  5. Add a drop of Señorita Magenta (pink) to each blob.
  6. Give the Rich Gold bottle a good shake before adding a drop to each blob. You will see the gold fizzle and then appear solid on the top.
  7. Be careful not to add too much alcohol ink as it will affect the resin cure and could mean your coaster doesn’t set properly!
  8. Leave the coaster to cure somewhere flat, warm and dust-free.
  9. After 24 hours, carefully remove your coaster from the mould. It will take a further seven days for your coaster to be fully heat resistant.

For more about petri art, read our previous blog.


Thanks to Tali from @tallulahdoesthehula for writing this blog post.

Packaging and recycling – we’re on it!

Here at Resin8 we are conscious of the environment in everything that we do. As retailers of a plastic product we are even more aware of the need to reduce our impact on the environment. That’s why we thought it might be helpful to explain a little more about why we use the packaging that we do, and what we are doing to improve further.

Loose fill packaging

The term “loose fill” refers to a packaging material that fills a void left once an item has been packed. We use a selection of loose fill packing material.

  • We shred our paper
  • We re-use packing materials
  • We only buy 100% biodegradeable packing peanuts, from the UK

All left over paper, that doesn’t have confidential information on, is shredded and used as parcel packing. We are in discussions with a number of local businesses to give us their paper for shredding which we will collect ourselves. How to recycle it? Use it again, add it to your compost mixed in with vegetable peelings, use it as pet bedding or even in your cat litter tray. Many councils in the UK don’t like to recycle shredded paper as the small nature of it means that it can cause problems with their machinery, so instead they ask you to bag it and take it to your local Household Recycling Centre.

When we receive items from manufacturers we ALWAYS re-use the loose fill. So your parcel may include “plastic” packing peanuts or bubble wrap but rest assured, these have been re-used and are not bought in by us. How to recycle it? Please re-use where you can.

We use Eco Flo fully biodegradeable packing peanuts and have done for a number of years. Eco Flo peanuts are made, in Cardiff, from GM-free starch and are 100% biodegradable. Unlike other loose fills on the market, Eco Flo is compostable (EN13432) and independently proven to offer better all round protection than polystyrene loose fill. What’s even better is that starch is an annually renewable resource, not a depleting resource like petro-chemical based polystyrene. How to recycle it? It is suitable for your compost bin! It will dissolve in water which eliminates the problem of littering. Or make flowers out of it, like Sarah did, one of our customers.

Cardboard boxes

We re-use cardboard boxes where we can, which is why the box your order arrives in might not always look tip-top. However, the volume of orders we now process means that we have to buy in new cardboard boxes to send your products out in.

We have spent a long time sourcing our cardboard box manufacturer, Belmont Packaging. This company are based in Wigan and are female-led (just like us). Belmont are an environmentally-aware FSC® certified manufacturer who have taken steps to reduce their impact on the environment by installing solar panels to generate their own electricity, installing a state of the art energy efficient compressor, having motion sensor lighting to save energy and best of all, collating and baling their own waste which they then sell back to the corrugated board supplier so it can be turned into more sheeting for more boxes.

We are looking into paper tape instead of plastic tape and will report back once we have found something suitable!

Grip seal polythene bags

The big one! Hands up – we use a lot of HDPE grip seal plastic bags.

The big issue for us is that there is no environmentally friendly alternative. The “seal” part of the bag is non-recyclable so even if the bag were made of recyclable plastic, the seal could not be recycled, thereby meaning the entire bag would still go into landfill.

The grip seal is important for liquid product transportation. Epoxy resin and hardener are chemicals – they must not be allowed to spill, leak or come into contact with human skin, animals, etc. Royal Mail’s “Prohibited and Restricted Items” guidance states that “Environmentally hazardous substances packaging guidelines: Pack in a leak proof or sift proof inner and protect by cushioning material in rigid outer packaging.” This means that we cannot use a biodegradable plastic bag that doesn’t have a “seal”. Biodegradable grip seal bags do not yet exist.

If one item were to leak, it would spill over all of the other products in the parcel, hence meaning we need to re-send product to you which not only costs us money but it means more miles in the post van, hence more emissions. Mica is notorious for leaking – such a fine powder is difficult to keep in one place!

What are we going to do to reduce plastic bags used for liquid transportation? We will stop double-bagging. We are also investigating biodegradable plastic bags (see more below) but at this stage have not found one that will contain a spilt liquid without falling apart.

What are we going to do to reduce plastic bags used for non-liquid transportation? We are now using paper bags where possible. Paper is NOT better for the environment (see our research below) but it’s all about perceptions and currently, the general public’s perception is that paper bags are better for the environment than plastic.

How to recycle grip seal bags? These bags are designed to be used multiple times. When containers get reused, less waste ends up in landfills and less manufacturing energy is expended. That’s good news all around. Many supermarkets will now accept grip seal bags as part of their carrier bag recycling.

Plastic bottles & tubs

Our resin bottles are made from HDPE (high density polyethylene), which, coincidentally, is also resin!  HDPE is used for milk bottles, shampoo bottles, detergent bottles… the list goes on. Because of its popularity it is widely recycled, with 92% of councils collecting used HDPE bottles for recycling. Epoxy resin and hardener must be filled in HDPE as it is the only plastic that will not react with the chemicals contained in resin.

How to recycle your used Resin8 bottles? Containers should be emptied as much as possible (i.e. the product used) and taken to a local recycling centre. They will usually have a special waste collection point that deals with hazardous liquids like paints, etc.

 

Research

You’re not going to like reading this… Paper bags are NOT better for the environment than polythene bags.

  • Paper uses more energy in its production than polythene
  • Paper costs more to produce
  • Paper manufacture uses 20 times as much water as polythene manufacture
  • Paper takes up to 20 times more space during transportation, resulting in excess CO2 emissions
  • Paper is more expensive to recycle
  • Paper places increasing pressure on landfill and land space due to their greater mass
  • Paper releases methane as it degrades – 23 times more damaging in accelerating climate change as the equivalent amount of CO2

Paper bags do have some positives however – they can be composted at home and are highly recyclable.

So, paper bags are not the answer.

By re-using and then recycling our polythene (HDPE) packaging – rather than just disposing of it after a single use – we can all help to reduce waste and save on raw materials, thereby cutting greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to a greener, cleaner planet.

For those who wish to see the stats and want our statement backed up, please visit these links:

 

Is there such a thing as a biodegradeable, leakproof plastic bag?

Currently no. However we are encouraged by recent tests that we’ve carried out on Natureflex bags. These bags are 100% biodegradeable and can be heat-sealed (to contain liquid hopefully). We have some of these bags on test in our studio to see how resin and pigments react to the plastic and we will report back soon!

FREE SHIPPING is here

Thanks to some hard negotiations with Royal Mail and Parcelforce
we are delighted to be able to offer you a much better delivery pricing structure!

From midday today (8th Sep) we can offer free standard shipping* to UK addresses, and some reductions in pricing for other shipping services:

UK STANDARD DELIVERY – Now from £2.40 (saving you £0.85)
UK FIRST CLASS DELIVERY – Now from £2.95 (saving you £0.90)
UK COURIER DELIVERY – Now from £7.50 (saving you £1.45)

*orders over £50 | UK only | not including hazardous goods | total parcel weight under 2kg

 

READ ABOUT OUR DELIVERY POLICY HERE
Products that are classed as hazardous for delivery and have to be sent by courier
Pinata Alcohol Inks (flammable)
Doming epoxy resin (corrosive hardener)
Pebeo Fantasy Prisme and Moon (flammable)

Pantone Colour Trend: Dreamscape

Inspired by the latest colour influence from the renowned Pantone Color Institute, our LIMITED EDITION Dreamscape Colour Collection launches today.

Available for 1 month only, Dreamscape contains a mix of opaque and metallic pigments, mica powders and a FREE sample of the brand-new Resin8 biodegradable reflections eco-glitter.

An alternative selection of tones, this kit is dreamy with its cool pink, shimmering lilac, vintage ivory and pale blue – think sweet pastels with a punch of orange and purple colour pop.

Get your hands on one of our Limited Edition Dreamscape Collections now.

Read more on Resin8’s mica powder and pigments below, and view the original Pantone article here.

(more…)

Resin Petri Art – colour pop achieved in minutes!

If you love creating fun, funky eye candy with the minimum of fuss, you’ll love petri art.

Made popular by artist Josie Lewis of Petrified Rainbow, this fabulous art form combines resin with alcohol inks to create three dimensional splashes of colour with unpredictable results.

You can use this effect to make stunning coasters, pendants and paperweights – the only limit is your imagination!

Called petri art because it resembles the tiny particles found growing in petri dish experiments, this popular technique is simple to get started with as long as you get the basics right.

All you have to do is drop a few drops of alcohol ink into a resin filled mould and wait for it to set. Simple, right? Well not entirely. There are a few things you should be mindful of before you get started.

All alcohol inks are not created equal

The first thing you’ll discover is that not all alcohol inks are created equal! We’ve experimented with different brands and have found Jacquard Piñata inks by far the best for this type of project.

Some thinner alternatives tend to bleed, creating a murky, brown sludge.

Piñata inks are highly saturated, fast drying and tend to hold their colour better.

All resins are not created equal

As well as choosing the right inks, it’s essential to select the correct resin to get the best effects.

Generally, the more viscous resins, such as Resin8’s 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin, work best with alcohol inks. Resin8 Heat Resistant Epoxy Resin produces equally stunning results, and is perfect for coasters, although bear in mind that to be fully heat proof, it must have a clear, uncoloured layer of this special resin on each end.

Thinner resins don’t tend to work as well because the alcohol ink sinks down to the bottom too fast and blends. If you only have thinner resin to hand, you could always let it semi-cure (set) before adding your alcohol inks. So for example, if you’re using Resin8 Slowcure resin, you might want to wait a day before adding the inks.

The magic ingredient

The magic ingredient in any petri art project is white alcohol ink. Without it, you can’t easily get the petrified effect.

You can’t substitute white alcohol ink for any other kind of white pigment or colour. Believe us, we’ve tried! Unfortunately there’s a worldwide shortage of Piñata’s Blanco Blanco (white) ink, with few shops in the UK able to keep up with demand! Among the petri art community, Blanco Blanco is gold dust!

The good news is that Resin8 is now stocking this petri art staple.

When you’re applying your coloured inks, make sure you include some Blanco Blanco. We often start with a drop of the white, followed by two drops of another colour, followed by a drop of the white and two drops of another colour – but have fun and experiment!

Putting the coloured ink before the white will get a different effect. Give both a try but remember that when it comes to petri art, less is usually more!

Metallic alcohol inks

As well as a rainbow of gorgeous coloured inks, Piñata make special metallic inks, such as  Rich Gold, Silver and Copper. These are made from real metallic pigments and can give your project a shot of shimmer.

It’s important to give the bottle a good shake before you use it. You only need a drop or two to give your project that je ne sais quoi!

The element of surprise

Petri art is often unpredictable and because you are essentially working backwards, you usually won’t see the finished product until it’s fully set and you can pop it out of the mould. Patience will be your greatest virtue!

You will get different effects depending on the size and depth of your mould and the type of resin you use. Don’t have your heart set on an end result… just go with the flow! The hardest part is waiting for the resin to set.

Good to know

Unfortunately alcohol inks are not lightfast and will eventually fade. Humidity, temperature and the type of resins and additives you use may also affect how fast your project may fade.

Luckily Piñata Colors are made with dye based colourants, which don’t fade as much as some other alcohol inks, according to Jacquard. They recommend avoiding prolonged sunlight exposure. The Blanco Blanco and metallic colours are completely lightfast and shouldn’t fade.

Your barbecue lighter may be your favourite way of getting rid of pesky bubbles when you’re working with resin. Alcohol inks are incredibly flammable – so whatever you do, don’t flambé your project/house!

Petri art is highly addictive, quick to produce and relatively cost effective, as a small bottle of alcohol ink goes a long way! For tips and inspiration, check out the Petri Supernova Facebook group.

And watch this space for Resin8 petri art video tutorials!


Thanks to Tali from @tallulahdoesthehula for writing this blog post

Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin – the resin you’ve been waiting for!

“it does exactly what it says on the tin”; “easier to use than other resins”; “I will definitely use it again”…

Just a few of the AMAZING things people have been saying about our brand new Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin!  This non-toxic resin has been developed for use in jewellery, sculpture and art. It is a superb all-purpose clear resin and is designed for doming, embedding, casting and coating.

resin8-121-resin

sterling-silver-ruby-and-resin-ring-2Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin is receiving rave reviews – check out just a few of them here. Kim from Wilde Works commented that she “would fully recommend using Resin8’s new 1 to 1 resin for small-scale resin casting on curved surfaces” and that “this is the resin i’ve been waiting for”. Michelle Fernandez mentioned that “it is a good all-round resin” and Viv from Beads of Creation said “all in all a great resin, easy to use, fantastic results, love it!”.

Grab yourself a 200ml Resin8 1 to 1 Epoxy Resin kit now!

Slowcure Epoxy – it’s worth the wait!

Our thanks go out to Tallulah does the Hula and The Beading Library for their fantastic reviews of Slowcure Epoxy resin.

These reviews are independent and contain honest, impartial opinions on our brand new resin.

The reviews are fab because both Tali and Helen have written great detail about working with slowcure epoxy – from the basics of measuring the resin out to the length of time required to get a crystal clear cure.

Read the full reviews here

Slowcure epoxy – it’s worth the wait!

‪#‎loveresin‬ ‪#‎slowcure‬ ‪#‎epoxy‬ ‪#‎epoxyresin‬ ‪#‎resin8‬

How did Clare get into resin jewellery making?

So how did I get hooked on making jewellery? Was it the wool and silver paper necklace that I made when I was 9? Was it the melon seeds that I dried and threaded into a necklace? Maybe it was the copper enamelled rings I made aged 17? Or my first silver wire ring that I plaited and soldered when I was studying for A levels?

GREEN EARRINGSI think you could say that it was all of those things and I was 17 when I decided to go to Art School to study jewellery making. My first study away from home was my Foundation Art course at High Wycombe. I loved the immersion into Art and Design and I got to try all sorts of disciplines- drawing, pottery, metalwork, resin, textiles, painting and photography.

My mind was still made up to go down the jewellery route though and I began to think about doing a professional apprenticeship. So, in January 1972, I wrote to the National Association of Goldsmiths to find out how I could become an apprentice.

Their reply was ‘We do not take girls to be apprentices but you could try going to Art College’

So that is what I did and here I am still making and loving jewellery. And, thankfully, times have changed and girls have been apprentices for many years.CJ_30

Top Tip… How to prepare fabric for use with resin

Who doesn’t love a fabric and resin bangle?! We’ve all been there – the resin soaks into the fabric, it warps, distorts and even bleeds colour into the lovely clear resin. Well no more…!!!

Resin8-prepare-fabric

Simply cover both sides of the fabric with PVA glue or Mod Podge, leave it to dry and hey presto – you can now cut the fabric easily – it won’t fray, warp or distort AND it won’t bleed colour into the resin!

Top Tip…Don’t throw mixing sticks away!

It has come to our attention that people are THROWING AWAY THEIR MIXING STICKS….

You don’t have to! Simply wipe them clean with kitchen roll or a baby wipe, leave them to dry and hey presto, they’re good to reuse many many times.

We can’t quite work it out but we reckon we have some mixing sticks that are over 10 years old…

Dont-throw-mixing-sticks-aw