Tag: resin8

Resin and Mallee Burr Pendant: Step by Step

Mallee Burr & resin pendant: 

Instructions (see below for basic images)

  1. Make a mould using tape and plastic – search YouTube for mallee burr resin pendants and you’ll find loads of useful guides on how to do this – or use a deep silicone mould that will hold the burr.
  2. Make sure your burr is free of dust by brushing it lightly and gently – use a toothbrush.
  3. Seal the burr with a thin layer of resin or with modpodge/PVA glue and let it dry.
  4. Mix up resin and hardener according to the instructions for the particular resin you are using. For Resin8 Slowcure crystal clear epoxy casting resin this would be 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener (e.g. 30ml resin and 15ml hardener).
  5. Add any colour you like (in this example we used Turquoise Transparent Pigment). For a 45ml mix of resin you will need less than a sesame seed sized amount of pigment – the colours are super strong!
  6. Pour the resin into the mould, making sure to keep the mould level. Remove any bubbles using a heat gun (if you’re using Slowcure Epoxy you shouldn’t get many bubbles).
  7. Leave to cure for at least 48 hours.
  8. Carefully remove the burr casting from the mould. Remove any sticky tape residue with a baby wipe.
  9. Decide on the shape of the pendant you want and draw it on the burr casting using pencil.
  10. Clamp the piece still (using a jewellery vice or similar) and use a small hand saw to cut it to shape. Wear a respirator at this stage as resin dust is bad for your lungs.
  11. Once the shape is cut, polish it using different grades of wet and dry abrasive paper. Use it wet and it will minimise resin dust. We suggest starting off with a rough paper such as 80 grit and then sanding through 180, 240, 400, 1200, 2000 and finishing with 2500.
  12. Let the piece dry completely.
  13. If the burr casting is not completely shiny you can polish it with danish oil, add another thin layer of resin or use resin polish (COMING SOON!).
  14. Attach any jewellery findings you need.

 

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!

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.

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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!

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

Top Tip…Make sure your resin is level before you dome

We like to add a layer of doming resin to the back of castings, so that they are smooth to wear against the skin. When doing this, it’s important to make sure that the casting is level before you add doming resin.

A handy tip is to use a mini spirit level (as you can see this one was from the RNLI, but we’re sure you can find them on ebay or etsy). This way the casting will have a level back, and look super professional!

Level-dome

Top Tip…Avoid bubbles in resin when using paper in your designs

Avoid bubbles in resin when using paper in your design

Here’s something we’ve learnt by experience…

If you have a curing cabinet do not use it if your resin creations have paper in them. As paper contains air, the action of heating the piece of jewellery up means that the air is released into the resin in the form of bubbles. OH NO!

Instead, pass a flame quickly over the piece before leaving it to cure overnight in a warm, dust-free environment.

Avoid bubbles in resin when using paper in your design