SLOWCURE EPOXY REVIEWSIndependent reviews of Slowcure Epoxy resin - these people were not paid to write their comments we promise! Shop the slowcure kits here.
Resin8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin: worth the wait!
By Tallulah does the Hula
So we've all been there. You've just diligently measured out a large batch of resin, mixed it up for the required time and are about to pour it into your mould when the telephone rings, or the cat brings a bird into the house, or in my case, a toddler wakes up screaming.
As a busy mum of two young children, juggling two part time jobs, the only time I get to work with resin is once the kids have gone to bed. On more than one occasion, I've mixed up a batch, only for one of my precious darlings to wake up.
I particularly recall one time when my two-year-old was inconsolable during such a night stirring. I did a panic pour (which did not go well!) and reluctantly ran upstairs to tend to him. By the time he'd settled, my remaining resin had to be chucked away. I'm sure you feel my pain!
This is where Resin8 Slowcure Epoxy Resin saves the day. With a pot life of two to four hours, it would take a very persistent child, caller or cat to disrupt your work.
My first thoughts while stirring the resin and hardener was how easily my spatula moved through the mixture! Having wrestled with treacly resins in the past, it was delightful to work with such water-thin resin. Slowcure Resin's low viscosity meant that I could get into small spaces with minimal fuss – and my nitrile gloves didn't even get a drop of resin on them in the process (normally they're a gloopy mess!).
With a 2:1 mix ratio, it's hard for even the most baby-brained, sleep deprived resin artist to mess up.
When I initially mixed up Slowcure Resin, I could see sediments in the liquid – these had completely disappeared by the time the resin had cured.
Other benefits of Slowcure are minimal bubbling (I could actually see the bubbles rise to the top, where they could be easily popped) and minimal yellowing.
Another advantage of Slowcure is that I ended up mixing more than I needed for my thin bangle mould. Normally I'd be pushed for time trying to find a use for leftover resin (waste not, want not!). Thanks to the huge pot life, I was able to take my time prepping up additional pieces without worrying about the resin thickening or curing!
When they say “slow cure”, they really mean it. My bangle – which was particularly thin - took almost three days to cure! However, my two floral rings were ready within a couple of days.
And the verdict? Beautiful, crystal clear pieces, almost free of visible micro bubbles! Slowcure worked well with alcohol ink as well as on its own, producing high quality pieces that I'll be able to sell.
Of course, if you're highly impatient, have a scarcity of moulds or need your pieces fast, you may be better off with Chemset basic resin. But if you're after an exceptional piece of jewellery or home décor and can take your time waiting for it to cure, you'll fall in love with Slowcure.
Trust me, its worth the wait!
Resin that's worth the wait!
By The Beading Library
I was really pleased when Kate and Clare at Resin8 asked me to test their new resin. I was running low on my usual resin and was right in the middle of making a whole stack of pendants for a fast-approaching event. I knew I could test out the new product and then put it to work right away!
The slowcure epoxy resin is exactly what it says on the bottle – it’s a high quality and crystal clear resin which takes longer to cure than many other resins out there. If left to cure at the correct temperature and humidity levels, you can expect your pieces to be ready in around 19-24 hours. The advantage of this slower curing time is a resin that is less prone to yellowing and that is virtually bubble free.
Up until now, I have used the Chemset Resin and Hardener which is mixed by weight in the ratio 2 : 1. The new slowcure resin is a little different in its chemical makeup and so the mixing ratio is slightly different too. It is still a two to one ratio, but by volume rather than weight, and you can buy graduated measuring cups to use for measuring out. However, if you are more comfortable mixing by weight, the instructions also give you the weight ratio of 100g (resin) to 45g (hardener) or 1 : 0.45. This would be fine if you are mixing a nice easy amount e.g. 10g of resin to 4.5g of hardener but could mean you’ll need a calculator to work out more complicated mixed resin quantities. I knocked up a table so I could potentially mix up smaller amounts of resin more quickly and without needing measuring cups (that then need cleaning!).
I first planned a few pendants to test how the resin behaved – from a simple clear layer over a mount with a paper insert to embedding objects, and finally to filling open-ended mounts and embedding crystal chatons into the cured resin. The different shaped mounts allowed me to see how the resin travelled into corners and levelled itself. Also used was a long heart-shaped mount not currently in stock at Resin8 and a watch pendant charm which I bought on Ebay.
I began by sealing background papers — all resins will get ‘sucked’ up by porous paper unless there is a barrier preventing it. I cut them to size to fit the various silver plated mounts. I prepared my mounts for the resin by sticking in the sealed background papers and gluing in any items to be embedded using two-part epoxy glue. I set them onto acrylic blocks so they were perfectly flat, using Blue Tack to keep them in place. Note: ensure that no Blue Tack protrudes above the rim of the mount, even by a quarter of a millimetre else it will wick the resin right out of the mount and onto your acrylic block, leaving you with a lot of cleaning up to do!
All the same safety guidelines apply when using this resin — protect your clothing and work surface, work in a ventilated room and protect your skin with a barrier cream.
I measured out 10ml of Resin and 5ml of Resin Hardener (2:1 ratio by volume). I poured them into a mixing pot. You will notice that the resin is milky and streaky when you first begin to mix but it becomes clearer and clearer as you keep mixing.
The mixed resin is very fluid. This is good news for getting it into all the corners of your pendant mount and I didn’t need to coax it at all in this regard. I filled the first square mount and any bubbles just disappeared without the need to pass over with a naked flame. The resin doesn’t specify whether it gives a domed finish but it formed a nice rounded surface anyway, perfect for this type of pendant. I moved on to the mounts with embedded objects. The resin flowed really easily around the charms, forming a nice surface as before.
To use the watch pendant charm and open bezel pendant, I fixed them to short lengths of wide adhesive tape. The tape forms a seal around one side, allowing you to fill with resin without it seeping out the bottom edges. I filled the watch pendant to create a nice rounded surface around the added vintage watch face embellishment. For the round open bezel pendant, I added just a very thin layer of resin to form a clear base.
After all those pendants, I still had mixed resin left so I made up two more mounts with a tea theme. The resin will sit quite happily for a long time while you mess around with mounts, background papers and objects to embed so there was no rushing or panicking that it was going to thicken and become unusable.
I left everything to cure in a warm and dust-free spot and decided to come back to them in 24 hours. The instructions tell you that the resin will be cured in 19-24 hours however, mine still a felt a little bit tacky to the touch when I checked them after a day. This might have been because the humidity was high in my workroom. They were fine when I checked them a few hours later.
I added embedded crystals to one of the pendants and was able to drill nice neat wells in the resin surface using a hand drill.
Overall, I was impressed by the new product. I particularly liked the absence of bubbles in filled mounts and the general clarity of the finished pieces. The measuring by volume will take a bit of getting used to, so I may revert to my table and test out measuring by weight instead. I’ll also have to find some patience from somewhere too if I am going to use it for my layered pieces. 19 hours between each layer is a long time to wait!
And if you are wondering how my open bezel pendant worked out? I added sea glass and resin in layers to achieve a window effect. So far, I have added one piece of sea glass and two layers of resin. You’ll need to look out for a project on The Beading Library to see the finished piece and find instructions to make your own. I still have three more resin layers to go!
About the reviewer
Former Editor of Beads & Beyond magazine, Helen Bowen is now the Editor/Librarian at ‘The Beading Library’, the online resource for everything relating to jewellery making. She regularly writes projects, reviews and articles for the library as well as sharing beady news and tips on the Facebook page and blog. Lots more free tutorials and useful infographics on everything from techniques to photography can be found on the library’s Pinterest boards.