Well…it’s been over 100 degrees here with humidity and the July muses would like us to focus on the summer heat. Not much of a stretch.
But there are only a couple of things that I obsess about once the days are this hot…ice cubes and the pool. So that’s what I decided to mix together and make. Ice cubes (literally) and pool colored ice cubes! (okay a couple are not the color of my pool but they are cool looking!)
For this you will need:
ICE Resin and the appropriate mixing supplies
extra cups, mixing sticks, and toothpicks
silicone mold (I purchased mine from a professional mold maker)
Alcohol ink (here I used Ranger Adirondack in Lettuce)
acrylic paint (as shown in Golden High Flow in Teal)
sandpaper in various grits
Dremel tool with small drill bit
tiny eye screws
miscellaneous jewelry chain and findings
I also used some ice-like beads to fill in the piece
Ready an area with a non-stick surface then mix up your resin according to instructions. Once the resin is ready separate into two cups. Being with the alcohol ink dropping just a few drops into the cup. Stir slightly but not completely. For this project we are going for a swirled appearance.
You can see how transparent it is. Do the same in the second cup with the acrylic paint.
When I prepped for these cubes I poured the resin directly into the mold then dropped my ink and paint. You can do this either way.
Allow your cubes to cure overnight. The next day you can pop them out. Aren’t they gorgeous!!
The swirls of alcohol ink almost look like moss!
And the paint stays in tiny droplets. I coated the cube on the left with a bit more resin. The unmixed paint can sit inside the bubbles and still be wet the next day. No big deal…just another coat of resin will seal it! Using the different grits of sandpaper, starting with the heaviest grit, sand down any imperfections. Sand continuously to the smoothest paper to polish your edges.
Now I molded for several days…maybe a week. Once you have as many cubes (I cheated and also made globes) sanded and prepared you can drill into them with your Dremel and a small drill bit. Use a small sharp screw to pierce the resin where you will want to drill. this will keep the bit from jumping around.
Place your eye screws and create your jewelry piece to your liking. This piece is about 18″ long as a necklace but if wrapped around twice it is also a bracelet! It can be worn two ways! Now lets go get in the pool for real…it’s hot!!
Susan creates and travels with her wearable art company
Something I keep hidden about my creative process is my love of the dark side. The underbelly, the richly textured, and the suggestion of all things scary. My current jewelry line is full of funny, light, lovely pieces that make my clientele smile. Little do they know as they wander through my creations that I have a penchant towards the creepy. But as things would have it there are two sides to every story when setting out to make a “dark” piece and sometimes things don’t turn out the way you planned.
My muse for this project is the new, and old, Mad Max movie. The new trailer is full of imagery. Gas masks, skullery, sand, fibers, exaggerated teeth, hair slathered into Mohawks, and lots and lots of dirt! I’ve watched it at least twenty times. If you lived in a world gone “mad” how would you adorn yourself? What would be available? How would you go about putting something together? The following will show you how my answers manifested.
Black acrylic paint
Metal or rubber block to pound on
A sizzix, cuttlebug, artisan xplorer or other embossing type machine (optional)
Start by flattening out your bottle caps. There are a couple ways you can do this. First I took out my aggression and just flattened them with my hammer. Put the metal block on top of your rubber block for noise reduction then bang away. As you flatten the plastic inside the cap will loosen and you take pliers and pull it out.
Second, if your caps aren’t as flat as you would like, after hammering run them through your embossing machine. Lay them on the appropriate trays and run them through. They flatten like magic!
Now it’s time to enamel! Get out the enameling powders, medium, embossing heat gun, and a heat proof surface. Using the medium brush it onto the egdes of the flatten cap then dip in one of your colors. Heat until melted. On some of the caps I redipped into a second color when the enamel was still hot then reheated immediately. It gives you a sort of crackle effect.
You can enamel all of the surface, part, or none. It’s all up to you.
Now comes some fun experimentation. Gather your sand, black acrylic paint, and all your ICE resin equipment. Mix up a batch according to instructions and have an extra cup handy. Pour some of your resin into that extra cup. Using a toothpick grab a pea sized dot of paint and put it into the resin mixing until incorporated.
Then dump in some sand. Use a little and then add as you go until you get your desired texture. Drip the sand/resin mixture onto your bottle caps. Let cure overnight.
Idea: if your caps still aren’t quite grungy enough go back with a second resin coat. Mix in more black paint and coat each piece again. The subtle color will darken each cap and give you an entirely new look.
Let’s resin some feathers and some newspaper. I had some feathers laying around so I gathered black and a couple multi-colored ones plus some torn pieces of newspaper that I thought would go with my project.
Mix up a small batch of ICE resin according to instructions. Lay your paper and feathers on a garbage bag. Using the sponge brush dip into the resin and spread onto the feathers, both sides. Same with the paper. Leave on the garbage bag to cure overnight.
Lay out all your components playing and moving things around until you like the arrangement. Punch holes in the caps according to your layout, add chain and links to make the bib necklace. Wrap wires at the tops of your feathers, place on your creation. Add clasp and wear proudly!
As I took the journey through this creation I thought what I was going to have at the end was a grungy, recycled, kind of dirty piece. The sand, texture, and colors were meant to reflect that destroyed world that is post apocalyptic. Boy was I surprised when I tried it on. It’s actually very wearable and, to my surprise, pretty! It just shows how things change and morph as you wander through the creative process.
Footnote: I didn’t end up using the resin newspaper in the necklace design but I did make an earring. After watching Mad Max in Thunderdome I couldn’t resist the earrings, the enormous circular earrings, that Tina Turner was wearing! Mine are a very paired down version but fun nonetheless less!
The resin newspaper was simply torn, holes were punched in the feathers, and laced over a circular piece of brass wire. Add an earring finding and you have a great wearable!