Using tints and foils

Posted on | April 21, 2016 | No Comments

Dizzy Di from the 2016 Design Team shows us today how she used the foils in the new Susan Lenart Kazmer Milan bezels in conjunction with the tints. The shiny colors of the foils work beautifully with the new tints to create a fun rainbow of color combinations. See how this designer’s brain works when she asks the “what if?” questions.

You can see more  from Dizzy Di at:
Facebook: Dizzy Di Bead Shop
Facebook: Dizzy Di

As always be sure to check out the Ranger Ink blog for more great art inspiration.

Here’s wishing you a colorful day!


Have you tried?

Posted on | April 20, 2016 | No Comments


There are so many tips and tricks that Susan and Jen and our past and present Design Team members have learned over the years of working with ICE Resin as artists. Many of these helpful little ideas are so second nature to us by now we hardly ever think about them.  Smack! Palm to Forehead. We just realized that maybe it’s time to start letting you in on all the little tips, tricks and helpful, ease-of-use things we’ve learned through trial and error.

Our first Have you Tried comes directly from the developer of ICE Resin herself, Susan Lenart Kazmer. These tips on proper metalworking attachment were also published in her first book “Making Connections; A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jewelers and Mixed Media Artists. To see daily inspiration from Susan, be sure to follow her on Instagram.

Tips for Using Adhesives as a Metalworker:

  • Select an adhesive that is appropriate for the cold join (attachment of metal without using heat) and the material.
  •  Before applying glue, sand or file the metal surface and rinse and wipe with a solvent (like alcohol wipes)
  • For porous materials like wood, use all purpose household glues. Glossy Accents by Ranger makes a great attachment for leather and fibers.
  • Cyanoacrylate glue, Like Crazy Glue and Super Glue work on non-porous surfaces
  • ICE Resin makes a great “glue” or cold join attachment for both porous and non-porous surfaces. Place a drop on the point of attachment between two materials and let dry.


Testing the New ICE Resin® Tints and Foil Sheets

Posted on | April 19, 2016 | 2 Comments


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The inspiration behind this blog was a simple question: “How can I know which of the new ICE Resin® Tints to use with the new ICE Resin® Foil Sheets?” As a tutor and designer, I thought I would share some of the process I go through in deciding which tints and foils work together to enhance the original color, and which ones change color completely. These pendants were one of the first things I made with the new tints and foils, and they’re a great tool to know how the foils and tints react together.

As a designer, these are what I call the “forgotten hours,” a general period of experimentation, but they can also generate great teaching tools for my students. In this case, my students will use these samples as a reference for how the colors react to each other — a quite handy thing to have!

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The materials used in this project all came from Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin® and Ranger® Ink, and you can find them at Ranger® Ink’s online store, as well as independent art and craft supplies.

Supply List
ICE Resin®
ICE Resin® Foil Sheets, Mardi Gras color set
ICE Resin® Milan bezels, large rectangle
ICE Resin® Tints in Hacienda, Yarrow, Lolite, Ancient Root, Raw Ruby, and Beryl
Iced EnamelsTM Medium
Disposable paintbrush
Mixing cups and stir sticks


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Seeing all the different shades created using the new tints and foils opens up a whole new world of color for ICE Resin®.

1. For each bezel, I cut strips from each of the five foil colors.

2. Using the Iced EnamelsTM Medium as an adhesive, I glued the strips into the bezel, and left them to dry. I put one strip of each foil color into each bezel, so the bezels were all the same. I took notes, writing down the order I placed the foils in each bezel, so that I could document the effect of the color changes once I added each tinted resin.

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Making notes on the order I placed the foils in each bezel, in order to record the effect of the tints on each foil color.

3. I mixed 10mL of ICE Resin®, pouring and mixing according to the package instructions, and added two drops of the first tint color, mixing well.

4. I filled one of the bezels, and added the name of the tint I had used to my notes next to that bezel.

5. I repeated this process five more times, making a fresh batch of ICE Resin® each time, and using each of the tint colors separately. At the end of this process, I had six bezels, each filled with the same assortment of foil colors, but with a different color of tint in each bezel.

A handy tip: If I had resin left over, I poured it into molds to create embellishments for other projects.

6. While the resin began to set up and cure, I wrote out six tags documenting the:
— color order of each foil;
— color of tint;
— number of drops of tint; and
— quantity of ICE Resin® mixed with that tint.

7. Once the bezels cured fully,  I attached the corresponding tag for future reference. These tagged bezels are what I will use in class, as well as to help me choose my background colors for foils and tints.

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A tagged sample bezel showing the color effect of the Raw Ruby Tint on the ICE Resin® Foils, along with a Milan heart-shaped bezel filled with ICE Resin®, ICE Resin® German Glass Glitter, and ICE Resin® Tint in Raw Ruby.

After my initial tint-and-foil experiments, I decided to whip up a heart pendant, using one of the new Milan heart-shaped bezels. I knew that I wanted a light, bright red color that was transparent. Using my Raw Ruby Tint sample bezel as a guide, I figured out that I would need to use the pink foil with the Red Ruby Tint, and a mixture of two drops of tint in 10mL of ICE Resin®.

Please note: the effect and saturation of the tint colors can vary by how much tint you put in your ICE Resin®.

For another experiment, I mixed different amounts of tint and poured the mixtures into face molds I happened to have on hand.

For the first face casting — the lightest color — I mixed 30mL of ICE Resin®, and added two drops of the Beryl Tint. I made a note on a piece of scrap paper to track what I’d mixed for that mold.

For the the next face, I added two more drops of the tint, for a total of four drops, and documented the mixture on the paper.

I repeated the process for each casting, adding two more drops of tint per face into the same mixing cup of ICE Resin®, getting up to ten drops of tint in the fifth face mold. The more tint I added, the darker the resin became.

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Once the face casts were cured enough to be removed from the molds, I used a Sharpie marker to write on the back of each casting to document the number of drops of tints I had used.


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The face casts unmolded, and showing the difference in color achieved by increasing the amount of ICE Resin® Tint. The face on the top left has two drops of tint; the face on the bottom right has ten drops.

By placing the foil behind the faces you can completely change the look of your work again.

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Checking the effect of an ICE Resin® Foil behind each face casting.

Have fun! Be fearless with color, because ICE Resin® Tints and Foil Sheets make it so easy!

If you have enjoyed this blog, please follow me on:
Facebook: Dizzy Di Bead Shop
Facebook: Dizzy Di

Faux Druzy Tutorial

Posted on | April 18, 2016 | No Comments

Guest Designer Misty Grosse has a fabulous tutorial on the Ranger Ink blog today. This technique is super simple but creates stunningly beautiful jewelry. Hop on over to the blog to see how its done!


Retreat vs Workshop

Posted on | April 15, 2016 | No Comments

People often ask us what’s the difference between an art retreat and a workshop. Of course, they know a retreat is an experience and that it goes on for days where as a workshop is a one-day class where students learn multiple techniques. What they don’t know is how do retreats differ from workshops.

Director of Education Jen Cushman here to clear this question up!

He were are at the tail end of lunch in Paris with some of our students. This was the first day in Paris and we were all awaiting for everyone's arrival. We love our art retreat in France!

He were are at the tail end of lunch in Paris with some of our students. This was the first day in Paris and we were all awaiting for everyone’s arrival. We love our art retreat in France!


  • Tend to be one day classes. Some workshops will be 9 hour (one day class and one evening) or two days. Rarely does a workshop last for more than two days. If it does, it tends to be called a “Master Class” of some kind because the instructor is delving deeper into specific techniques along the same lines. For example — a Master book binding class where students learn and practice 5 different kinds of spine stitches.
  • Are often project-focused. The Instructor creates an art sample filled with techniques, an event organizer or store owner posts the photo to their customers/attendees, and people register for the class based on the assumption they will be making that particular project or some near version of it.
  • Attendees tend to be in a larger group of people. They often come alone, but sometimes have a buddy join them who’s also into DIY or crafting
  • Classes for very popular instructors can fill an entire space that day. In-demand instructors will teach the project to as many as 40-100 students at a time and will have assistants in the class to ensure students are getting extra hands-on attention from someone knowledgeable, but not necessarily always the lead instructor.
  • Popular instructors’ workshops can sell out within hours of the announcement being made by the store owner or event organizer.


  • Tend to be hotel-based where attendees travel to a destination and often save up to budget a retreat into their lives.
  • Many art retreats will last for a week, but have multiple instructors coming in and leaving at various times during the week. Popular instructors will typically fly in and teach three workshop days. Each workshop is treated as a separate class so attendees have a broader choice of favorite instructors to choose from.
  • Some of the larger mixed-media art retreats will have as many as 30 to 40 popular instructors teaching their events.
  • Major shows (much bigger than a retreat) like the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee and BeadFest Summer in Philly can have as many as 200 top-rated instructors on their roster.
  • Most medium sized art retreats (20-40 instructors) will also have activities for attendees in addition to the workshops. The most popular of these retreats create the vibe of a tribe. A group of makers come together for five days to a week to get out of their daily life routines so they can immerse themselves in art. These attendees are usually thrilled to be learning, growing and connecting with other like-minded people. So much so that these retreats can be life changing.
  • Retreats often require multiple people behind the scenes planning, organizing, managing and running them. It’s a lot of hard work and the best of the organizers make it look fun and easy (even when they’re ready to tear their hair out from juggling a million working parts).
  • Successful retreats (financially and emotionally) are run by people with a true passion for art, community and education and a commitment to do the hard work to make it happen.
  • The most successful instructors are artists who are confident in their work and have a passion for sharing their art techniques with others. They enjoy being an integral part of the art ecosystem.

Susan changed the focus of her career 16 years ago from when she was doing art for museums and private collections to education. The very first mixed-media art retreat, called Art Continuum, started on the East Coast and Susan was one of the first instructors personally invited to teach. Art retreats have grown and changed since these early days. There are lots of variations and hybrids from what I mentioned above. Susan has literally taught hundreds of workshops to thousands of students. In addition to a busy teaching schedule where she’s spanned the globe, she’s also built commercial lines, sold her work in dozens of art galleries, been in museum collections, written books, raised two great kids and juggled many more amazing opportunities.

I first started my career as an art educator in 2003 when I taught paper crafting and scrapbooking techniques at stores in Arizona and California. I taught while also having a freelance writing career and raising my two kids. I started teaching at the art retreats in 2009, and have had the great fortune of doing what I do. I think I love teaching ICE Resin more than anything else that I do. As Susan says to me, “Jen, teaching is what light’s you up the most!”

You will continue to see Susan and myself at various art retreats and events. We love the Tucson gem show, Bead and Button and BeadFest events. We also teach regularly at Art is You, Art and Soul, Art Unraveled, Vivi Magoo Presents, Art Makers Denver and various other jewelry and mixed-media retreats.

Our other BIG love is when we do intimate, full-immersion international retreats at wonderful locations such as Mexico and Bali and France. Stay tuned to the ICE Resin blog for more in-depth information for all the locations we’ll be at for 2016. Many workshops for this year are already full, but there’s always a wait list and there’s often last minute opportunities that arise for people to slide in. If you want to see a little behind-scenes snippet from our art retreat we held in France Summer 2015, take a look at this video:

Consider this long post a primer for 2017. Now you’ll know your options and be ready to plan for them. Aren’t you lucky enough to have the inside track as a follower of the ICE Resin blog? If you have an art buddy who may want to know a little more about workshops and art retreats, be sure to send her our way. We’ll take care of her, we promise.

Hope to see you at an art retreat or workshop soon!


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