Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Deep Pour - Or Why You Need Polyester Casting Resin Part THREE - The Frida Frame

 This piece is joining a large grouping of items in my studio that salute the artist Frida Kahlo.  
A pretty pink hued frame highlighting one of her self portraits.
 This project did not start out as a frame.
I thought I was making a bangle.  I have loved resin crafts for almost 10 years.  Over that time I have purchased molds and accessories in a wide variety of locations.  I also find a lot on Ebay too.  Somewhere in what must have been a resin buying spree, I bought several molds like this one. I was sure they were bangles, small, medium and large.
 So I got my Clear Polyester Casting Resin supplies out again.  You really must read part one and part two of this series.  They are chock full of measuring tips and reminders.
 I filled my "bangle to the half way point, waited about 20 minutes and then dropped in some stones.  Then I made another batch of Polyester casting resin and filled the "bangle" mold to the brim.  But it didn't look right.  It started to spill over into the centre area.
 So, since the middle section was now covered in casting resin, I decided to make one last batch. I added some red and white opaque pigments to the resin in order to make this pink colour so that I could turn the bangle disaster into a frame.
 Call me unobservant.
It turns out this mold was to make an ash tray.  Who knew?   
Why would I have a mold to make an ash tray?  
I have no answer to this question.  
So, here I was faced with a great casting for an object I don't like.  
I just had to turn this into a frame!  I even added some gold paint.
Then I went to my comfort zone.
I made a small batch of my favorite apoxie resin:  Envirotex Lite.  I covered Frida in this resin and then I filled the channel with it to attach the metal flowers permanently.
Didn't it turn out great?  Frida Kahlo smoked...so in many ways, this does make sense.
My Frida Bangle/Frame/Ashtray.

Lessons Learned
1.  Once again, the polyester resin clear casting is beautiful.  Crystal clear.
2.  It is very easy to colour polyester resin with the pigments I already use.
3.  I can still use Envirotex Lite as a glaze over an image in a polyester resin casting as long as I follow my usual process for sealing the paper with Ultra Seal.  Resin meets different resin.
4.  Polyester casting resin is greatly effected by the temperature....and we are extremely hot and humid in my part of the world.  My frame was a little sticky on the sides even though the resin was cured.  This is not uncommon and can be fixed with a small coating of an acrylic spray sealer.  If I was patient, I could leave the casting in a warm and sunny spot for a few days...but a spray sealer is dry in under an hour.
5.  Polyester resin de-bubbles or as they say "de-gasses" itself.  Some bubble might occur if air is introduced with an inclusion such as my little stones.  I can live with the occasional bubble.

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