After much consideration and thought, I had found myself in a rut. I enjoy crocheting and knitting but it’s not that fun to do when it’s hot as hell outside and oppressively muggy inside. I enjoy creating the wooden boxes, that I’ve blogged about previously, but that project had also run it’s course. Woodburning and painting was fun but “been there, done that”, I needed to find another direction to take my crafting…I was in a rut.
While surfing around the net one night, I stumbled upon the art of working with resin casting on You Tube. The techniques documents were primarily for jewelry (pendents and bracelets mostly) and while it’s completely charming to imbed candy into clear resin and wear it around your neck for eternity…it really wasn’t my thing. Then I found a video of a man that would put colored resin inlays into the neck of guitars; while interesting…I don’t play much anymore so that didn’t help either.
But I had a moment of enlightenment; is it possible to inlay colored resin into wood, or better yet…a wooden box?
So my quest for knowledge began. I looked up everything I could on the internet about resin, casting resin, molding resin and coloring resin. Again, it was mostly geared towards making jewelry (other than my wedding rings, I rarely wear it) so I began looking for resin inlay techniques for wood. Amazingly enough, all I found was a single Acrobat document that was produced in 2009 for a woodworking magazine. I was pretty much on my own for this one.
I began gathering the supplies that I would need to start my experiment; luckily I already had most of them (paints and colorants) but purchased the actual resin and mixing cups from a craft store. The syringes were a bit tricky (thank God I don’t look like an intravenous junky) but I found a pharmacist that sold me 16 syringes for 10 cents a piece because they were expiring their useful date for medical use and they were going to be pitched anyway.
I had a little wooden box, that I’d purchased for a dollar, that had a lid that was about 1/2 inch think and perfect for my inlay experiment. I got into my vast supply of clip art books and found a simple dog paw pattern that fit nicely on the lid. After transferring the clip art onto the lid, I used a Dremel to cut a recess of about 1/4 inch into the lid (I didn’t want to cut through the top because the resin would run out). After the cutting was finished, I made sure that the lines were clean so after the excess resin was sanded off, a clean inlay would remain.
After blowing off the sanding dust, I proceeded to mix the resin (you have to combine it with a catalyst in order for it to harden) and it stunk to high hell. I didn’t want to just cast clear resin so I had some silver/grey powdered mica that I mixed in. After I combined the mixture to my satisfaction, I used a syringe to fill the recessed areas on the lid of the box. I actually overfilled the cut out area because there’s a slight shrinkage upon the resin curing (I’d only read about it…no actual experience in how much shrinkage would take place) and the syringe made it a very clean and tidy process; I intended to sand the resin down to be flush with the lid anyway once it was cured.
After the filling and the curing (I put the box with the un-cured resin under a lamp that put out some heat) and waited for 24 hours. The next day, I hand sanded the box until the resin was flush and smooth. The one disappointment I had was that the resin was quite dull and blended with the matte finish of the box, I was hoping for a glossy finish. Easily solved! I dug into my collection of paints and finishes and found a bottle of Triple Gloss Acrylic that I painted on to create the shine.
Overall, I’m encouraged and actively working on my next project…of course I will blog about it. Keep an eye open on my blog; more good things will be posted soon!!!!
Thanks for reading!!!