I enjoy using resin in some of my jewelry and mixed-media projects, but I know it’s intimidating to some. There’s mixing involved, and often the materials are considered “toxic.” Then there is the question of what resin is best for what applications.
Today I’m reviewing SuperClear Resin: a non-toxic, 2-part casting resin for jewelry making from ResinObsession. This is unlike other 2-part resins I’ve used, both because it’s non-toxic and because it’s really just for casting objects in molds.Â But more on that soon. First, let’s review what the website has to say about this new resin on the market:
bubbles easily dissipateÂ·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â shipped worldwideÂ·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â non-toxic formulaÂ·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â low to no odorÂ·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 to 1 formulaÂ·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4 oz bottle of resin, 2 oz bottle of hardener
- 25 minute open time
- 6-8 hour cure time at room temperature
- 1 hour cure time with 150 degree F heat, example: putting it in a hot box
The age old question on yellowing the resin with a torch. You should not touch the epoxy with the flame of the torch,Â all this does is burn the epoxy and cause it to turn amber. All you need is the carbon dioxide from the torch to break the bubbles not the flame.Â Just by putting the torch over the epoxy will start the bubble removal, and keep the flame away from the epoxy.
The first thing that strikes you is that it’s a 2-to-1 ratio: you use two parts of the “Side A” material and only one part of the “Side B” activator. Also,Â I’m used to mixing two materials with the same viscosity. So be careful when pouring, because “Side A” is like honey butÂ “Side B” is very runny- like water. It would be easy to over-pour.
Interestingly, it got a little cloudy when I started to mix. You’ll see in the photo above that I’m using a plastic mixing paddle- those came with the kit. The ResinObession folks maintain that mixing with wood introduces more bubbles into the resin.Â I seem to have a lot of bubbles anyway, even though I took care to “fold” instead of rapid stirring.
However, the directions tell you to mix for minutes and then let it sit for 5 minutes (presumably to let the reaction begin and let the bubbles rise.) Here’s how it looked after it sat for it’s resting period:
Time to pour! I love conversation heart candies in resin- so I poured some resin in, added a few hearts, then finished my pour. I also added some Swarovski chatons to another one. There was no real odor, to speak of, either. Nice!
I should mention that I did see some bubbles, but I just used the “heavy breathing” technique on them- that is, breath slowly and heavily and the CO2 from your breath will pop bubbles close to the surface.
I set these aside to check the next day.
Now, on the label it says that this resin will cure in one hour if you put it in a 150 degree Fahrenheit oven. Intriguing! So made some jewelry using Jill MacKay bezels and some seashells I’d collected.Â I also tried pouring some resin on a polymer clay piece as a glossy topcoat. (One of my favorite uses for resin.) I put that in the oven, too.
I went about my merry way and checked on my pieces about an hour and 15 minutes later. Now get ready for the good, the bad, and the ugly!
The good news is that YES, after an hour the pieces were beautifully cured and crystal clear. Take a look at those bezels!
Nice and glossy, but not really doming. Which leads us to the bad….
Obviously, I was a little messy in my pour- OR I thought it was doming, but it wasn’t….and some resin spilled onto the tile. This effectively GLUED IT TO THE TILE.
Hard as I tried, I couldn’t remove my bezel. The best I could do was completely break the tile….and even then, I couldn’t get all of the tile off. Here’s how it looks:
Geez, Louise! What an epic fail! That’s not the fault of the resin, of course, but I share it as a cautionary tale. Now onto the polymer clay– and that just turned out kinda ugly.
At least I could peel the polymer heart off of the tile and remove the excess so that all was not lost. But there it is: this is not a doming resin and will not work as a top coat- it just doesn’t have the surface tension.
Now, again, this isn’t the fault of the resin- the packaging says that it’s for molding. (I just wanted to really test it, you know?)
Remember those pieces I poured? Well the next morning I popped them out of the silicone mold (no release spray used) and they come out clean as a whistle. Take a look:
And want to see how clear it is?
Nice! So, overall, I’m actually very pleased with this resin- I think it might be a great candidate if I’m going to teach a class, because it’ll cure in an hour and folks can take their pieces home with them without having to schlep out the UV light or worry about areas not curing. But again, only for bezels or molds.I’ll keep Ice Resin for it’s fabulous doming properties, and Magic Glos for quick top coats, but I think SuperClear Resin has a place on my craft table, too!
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