Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Button Molds - Part One

Earlier this spring I bought these beautiful buttons at an antique market in Paris.  They were pretty expensive, so the likelihood of me using them in a mixed media project was rare. 
 The main button on each vintage card is a beautiful jewel.
 It was hard for me to pick just these two button cards.  I justified the purchase with a thought.  "I can make a mold of these buttons!"
Environmental Technologies makes more than the world's greatest resin: Envirotex Lite.  They make excellent mold making products too!  EasyMold Silicone Putty is one of two mold making products I want to showcase this week.
Here is why I love the silicone puttyEasyMold is a easy to use, Odor Free, Non-Toxic, FDA compliant – Food Grade, two component silicone putty.  More magic in a box!
  • 3 Minute working time, 25 minute cure.
  • Ideal for small molds, excellent detail from original.
  • Strong, flexible, reusable molds.
  • High Heat range, up to 400ยบ F.
  • No Shrinkage.
  • Self releasing, no mold release agent required for most applications.
You mix equal parts until the putty is one solid colour.  Then you only have a few minutes to embed what you want to make a mold of.
I made a little circular ball for each button. I flattened it onto my work surface and then embedded my buttons.  Twenty five minutes later I had a mold ready to pour Envirotex Lite into.
I always do a "test pour" whenever I make a new mold.  This way I can pull out any dirt or dust that may have transferred from the original object I molded. I also get to see my mold in action!
Once I confirmed the molds were great I mixed up resin.  In one button mold I poured in a pink batch of resin, in the other a poured in black resin.  Coloring resin is something I showcased in an earlier blog post.
 This mold held the resin nicely so I stepped out of my studio.
But when I came back I saw that I had some spillage.  This is something I wanted to show you so I let my resin cure as is.
 It is very easy to repair this later.  See how the spillage cured?
 Just trim it and your duplicate is saved.
Here are my two duplicates.  All I need to do now is a little sanding.  Tomorrow I'll show you what to do next!
If you are wondering where to buy EasyMold Silicone Putty just go to the ETI website linked here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekend Workshops With Resin

This weekend I taught two fun resin workshops at the Mixed Minded event in Kitchener, Ontario.  This first group of pictures is from a class I teach called:  Resin – Liquid Glass, How to work with Bezels and Other Apertures.  The second class is called:  Resin as a Glaze. Better than Glue or Varnish.  The pictures below are from the Glaze class.
So many amazing pieces of art were created in the workshops.  I am so happy with how it was organized and how lovely all my students were!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Henry The 8th and His Wives

 I can finally show you my new bezel set!
Earlier this week I showed you this lovely package of chocolate I received from Britain.  I just had to do something with these great paper wrappers.
I used jewelery (which I broke up) from the dollar store for embellishment.  To create this dome I poured Envirotex Lite resin into the bezels three times over the course of one week.  I waited 48 hours for the resin to cure between pours.  The first small pour was to cover the images.  The second pour set all the jewels in place.  Finally, the third pour created this dome.
 I am not sure if these bezels are going to be on a larger art piece or something wearable.  We'll see!

new stock at Vamp

Retro Mahogany desk with cream, dove grey and yellow accents 
(L – 108cm, D – 52cm, H – 77cm)

Ornate glossy yellow mirror
(60cm x 90cm) 

Set of 6 Mahogany dining chairs covered in ‘Murad Lime Cooler’ by Hertex fabrics 

Beautifully shaped Mid Century modern armchair in charcoal textured fabric

Domed glossy red ornate mirror
(36cm x 67cm)

Tretchikoff ‘Pink Magnolia’ framed print
(53cm x 100cm ) 

Scandi style bench in dusty lavender fabric 

Sapele Mahogany half-moon table in yellow with natural wood drawer 
(L – 114cm, D – 40cm, H – 76cm) 
Sapele Mahogany bookcase with teal backing 
(L – 92cm, D – 23cm, H – 92cm) 

Oak drinks cabinet
(L – 55cm, D – 31cm, H – 111cm)

Wood grain Formica wall unit with black accents
(L – 140cm, D – 45cm, H – 158cm)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Post About The Resin Learning Curve

Don't scroll down yet.
Just take one second to look at this resin covered canvas.
Don't peak at the picture below.
Here is why.
I wanted you to see the collage.  It's not bad.  I love the glossy resin coating.
But the real reason it looks good is because of my photoshop skills.
The Modigliani lady does not look this good on the original.
Okay.  Now scroll.

Here is what the collage really looks like.  My lady looks like she has a skin problem.  So this post is about what I learned when I rushed a project before learning all that I needed to know about resin.  And what I learned has been reinforced in every project I have done since.  You have to protect paper with a layer or two of a good clear coating before you pour resin onto it.  I now use Mod Podge or ETI's specialty product: Ultra Seal.  Luckily this was just a small canvas.  I was not planning to sell it or give it away as a gift.  I didn't have any important ephemera attached to it and I had not invested hours of time into it.
But if you are planning to try resin on something special you really need to experiment for a while before you throw yourself into a big project.  I used this small canvas to test a few techniques, such as how to make a nice filed edge to my corners.
This week I got a Facebook question from Debbie who was curious about using resin on a canvas.  I asked her to wait a day so I could write this post in answer to her question.  So here is my answer.  YES, Envirotex Lite is AMAZING on collaged canvases.  Many artists are creating amazing artwork with it and I myself use it all the time.  However, if you have not experimented with Envirotex Lite or any other resin I would urge you to start small. If you can create some test canvases like the one's I am showing you today you'll love what can be created later.
 These are test canvases.  I wanted to see what would happen to different types of media under resin.
 I played with acrylic paint, oil pastels, vintage and new papers.
It is amazing to see which mediums appear to float in the resin.  My papers were well protected and there are no stains or spots.  I incorporated these discoveries in my current work.
Test boards like these gave me the confidence I needed to work on larger pieces.  So before you cover a finished collage, try to make time to do some sample boards.  You'll learn a lot and hopefully when you pour your resin over a piece of finished art that it looks as perfect as you want it to.

Environmental Technology Inc. has a great You tube video you can watch for even more information about pouring on a bigger surface.  In the months to come I hope to show you some great collage art.  But I could not resist writing this fast post to give Debbie some advice right away!

Henry The 8th Update.  
OMG.  I can't wait to show you the final bezels tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Envirotex Lite and Paper Cupcake Liners

 Today I have a very sweet project to share with you.  
You can pour Envirotex Lite resin into cupcake liners!
Cupcakes are so popular in the baking world and your choices for cupcake liners are endless.  I found all sorts of polka dots and patterns and had a hard time just picking one package.  Cupcake liners are not just paper.  I believe that they have a little bit of wax on them which helps with the non-stick format.  Since the inside of the liner is white, you need to reverse the design by pushing the inside out.  You can see from my picture how pretty the outside is.  I really wanted the rainbow of colour to be showcased.
I choose to drop some one inch buttons into the cup after adding a little dollop of resin.  I am sure you can think of dozens of other items to place in the cupcake liner.  Words, buttons, pictures and other small embellishments are all great.  Just be careful that you don't overload the bottom.  Remember, you are working in a very thin paper bezel.
I attached magnets to the back of these.  The cupcake liners look great on a fridge door.  I think they are a wonderful kitchen decoration.
My inspiration for this project came from Claudine Hellmuth who has been adding little cupcake liners to her work for years.

Update:  Henry the 8th and wives are still curing. (See posts earlier this week.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Website!

Environmental Technology Inc.  has launched their new website!
It is beautiful!  I really like the fresh new design.
You'll notice that it is really easy to find exactly what you are looking for quickly.
The link to this blog is prominently displayed too!
Now, I bet you are wondering what is happening with my Henry the Eight bezel set (see yesterday's post.)  My first layer of Envirotex Lite resin is now cured.  All I wanted to do with this layer was cover the images to ensure that they are permanently in place.  I also added a little glitter glue around the edges of all the pictures.  This makes my bezel look fancy...but really, I do it to hide any edges that didn't line up perfectly in the bezel.
Now Henry The Eight and his wives are going to meet the Dollar store.  I have these $1 and $2 pieces of jewelery that I will be cutting up and using for embellishment.  Things will look very different tomorrow!