A few weeks ago now, I finally got around to going to a jewellery course run by the Ministry of Craft in Manchester. I chose the Mix n Mould class, focusing on how to set things in resin, run by the lovely Melissa Jopp of Jopp Design, who sells vintage inspired resin jewellery locally and online.
It was quite a small class so you felt like you could easily get help from the tutor and the other participants were lovely. Of course, everyone else had brought fab things to set in resin, and brought whole craft stashes with them, where I brought a stained tupperware box with the bits of crap from my craft box that I don't quite know what to do with! There were really some ace creations, but here are my efforts. Despite the fact that my pieces aren't exactly, er, Etsy quality (maybe Regretsy?) I did learn a lot and would love to do some more.
This owl ring was made from a genuine 80s button stolen from my mum's button hexagon. I had already snapped the back off, but because of the shape of the button, couldn't get an earring back or pendant setting to stick properly. So I set it in resin! You can use cake moulds, ice cube moulds, anything really to make a mould for your resin. For this, I used air drying clay, which gives a very, er, rustic look to the resin outline, which I wasn't too keen on. But my sister loved it, so this will be going to her.
When I tried to break the shanks from these [also stolen 80s] buttons I almost broke my tool, so wasn 't sure what to do with them. Solution - set in resin! Again this mould was made with air drying clay but I think the rustic look is ok on this brooch. I think I would actually wear it (bonus).
My first pendant was made using some retro looking fabric from Abakhan Fabrics (which was a bloody bargain) in a silicon cupcake mould (hence the finish on the edge). I was pretty pleased with how it looks (it looks better from a distance) but the fabric did tend to 'float' in the resin. The course was a two-parter over two weekends, and so our resin was left to set between the first and second weeks meaning I couldn't be constantly watching it and prodding the fabric down. In future I think I would either keep more of an eye on it, or do the resin in two layers to sandwich the fabric. I've seen this done online and this also would solve the fact that, generally, with the heavier items (e.g buttons) they tended to sink to the bottom and stick out of the back of the piece a bit.
This probably worked the best - the back was smooth and the chips sat nicely in the resin. You can see the pendant setting through the front, which makes it look a bit scruffy, but overall I was quite chuffed with this one!
Ooops! This one was the nearest to a disaster! I liked the little owl, from this fabric from Etsy., but the mould I made for this was wonky, resulting it the resin looking a bit like clear snot with an owl in it! Also, it sunk a bit so the back is a mess. But I now know how I would do things differently. Maybe I would try and make my own silicon mould in future and see how that went, or just buy some ready made shapes in more variety than we had available in the class.
So, I've not bought any supplies yet to have a go at home, but I am now viewing small bits and bobs in a new way - set in resin! If you're local to Manchester (UK) then I would definitely recommend the course, and if you're interested in making jewellery and have never tried resin, have a look out for a course near you!