Resin is a medium worth considering whether you’re an expert artist or just starting to create your unique works of art. It can be tempting to just jump in right away without doing any research. Resin art isn’t without its difficulties, and you’ll have to learn a lot, which may be daunting at times.
This fantastic art medium can be utilized in a variety of ways, but it’s necessary to know what you’re working with. This article will help you gain a better understanding and get you started on your artistic journey.
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What Is Resin Art?
Resin is a chemical substance that hardens to create a more stable and durable material. Depending on the type of resin, you can solidify it by using a hardener or subjecting it to UV radiation. The synthetic material can be used to make products out of molds or to preserve artwork from wear and tear.
Epoxy, polyurethane, silicone, and polyester “fiberglass” resin are the four forms of resin used to make art. Each one is better suited to a particular medium. Epoxy resin is the remarkable alternative and the simplest to use for beginners when making jewelry and other products with molds.
To avoid any resin art mistakes in the first place, you must have a complete understanding of what resin is and how it works, for which you can also follow Resin Guidelines from resin-expert.com.
What Is the Origin of Resin Art?
Resin art has an ancient legacy, which is surprising. Amber, often known as nature’s resin, is produced from trees, then fossilizes to form a hard, translucent slab. Amber has been used as a decorative ornament or piece of jewelry for hundreds of years.
The resin was originally derived from the Pine tree and was used as glue in the Stone Age. This is how we use it now.
The resin was obtained by cutting the tree’s bark and allowing the sap to come out. The sap or resin solidified into a solid mass on the tree. If a tree is chopped down, the sap forms a kind of resin that hardens. At around 100° F, this liquid solidifies and cures as it cools. If you’re curious to know how the resin is extracted, YouTube videos will walk you through the process.
Modern resin is synthesized chemically and is utilized for similar purposes. In the 1930s, epoxy resin was discovered. It was patented as a product after discovering that it could be used to bind goods together or preserve artifacts. Epoxy resin soon found its way into the art world, where it has remained ever since.
Beside Epoxy Resins, there are Thermoset Resins, which are non-melting. They are usually a two-part system that requires a catalyst to initiate the polymerization process, which results in a lengthy chain of molecules. These resins come from the petrochemical industry, like oil from crops that come from natural sources.
Different Types of Resins
Resins are available in three different types, two of which are popularly utilized in projects.
This type of resin is thinner and runnier than epoxy resin because it has a lower density. Due to their liquid nature, casting resins are not suited for artwork since they can flow over the edge; this form is typically used to fill in gaps, such as in molds.
The epoxy resin cures faster than casting resin, which acts as a benefit, but also you’ll have less time to concentrate on your projects. Epoxy resins are primarily utilized for home improvement projects, particularly handicrafts.
Polyester Resins are water and UV resistant and are mostly used in the marine industry. Its viscosity is high and is utilized for rapid cures.
Which Resin is Used for Resin Artwork?
By mixing color pigments into epoxy resin, it is possible to produce vibrant resin paintings and castings. To produce different effects, you can change the painting ground, casting kind, color, and additives.
Epoxy resin is a two-part liquid that interacts and cures to make a hard object when mixed. When a resin and a hardener are mixed, they react and generate heat. The resin-to-hardener ratio varies by brand, but it’s usually 1:1.
It’s crucial to follow the mixing directions when using a resin, as it requires it to be weighed by volume while the hardener needs to be measured by weight (hardener and resin do not weigh the same).
Consider the Following Factors When Selecting an Epoxy Resin:
1. Viscosity (Thickness):
The fluidity of the epoxy resin determines its viscosity. Epoxy resin with a low viscosity is more fluid, similar to vegetable oil. A greater viscosity epoxy resin, on the other hand, is significantly thicker, resembling pudding or sticky slime inconsistency. It is important to know that various viscosities are appropriate for various forms of resin artwork.
2. Working Hours/Cure Hours:
The working time refers to the amount of time an artist has from the mixing time of the epoxy resin with the hardener until it begins to cure. The cure time refers to the time required for the epoxy resin to set completely. There is a correlation between the time it takes to complete a project to the time it takes to cure.
An epoxy artist will gain by having a long operating period for certain tasks, like paintings. Artists will benefit from a reduced cure time for other projects, such as casting epoxy resin miniatures, because they will not require long work hours with the cast. All of this is considered when determining which epoxy resin to choose for any project.
3. UV Filter/Transparency:
Artists working with epoxy resin find that after a certain time some light hue may fade or change color. This phenomenon is caused by the presence or absence of a suitable UV filter in an epoxy resin. When it comes to transparency, we always recommend clear epoxy resin.
If your epoxy resin becomes foggy after mixing, soak your epoxy resin jars in warm water for a few minutes. The fog is most likely due to a temperature issue, which should clear up shortly as the weather warms up!
Epoxy resins contain a variety of solvents and compounds. It is better to learn about epoxy resin before using it for art. If you are dealing with epoxy resin for a long time, you run the risk of developing health hazards through inhalation and skin contact, among other factors. Therefore, resin artists should use a vapor mask and gloves while working. Is Epoxy Resin Safe for Art? is a great place to start. More research should be done by the artist working with this medium to understand the chemical reaction when mixing. Caution should be exercised when designing.
Cheaper goods aren’t always appropriate for resin art, however, there are plenty of budget-friendly products available in the market that work well with a variety of resin art projects. A high price does not exclude a fantastic product from entering the market in the same way, a product that fails miserably should be included merely because it is available at a low price.
Tips & Tricks for Resin Art
Here’s a checklist to make sure your artwork gets a good resin coat:
Do not Improvise.
Do not innovate with known ingredients in a controlled environment with known and managed temperatures and humidity.
Observe the directions.
- Make sure all bottles and mixing tools are clean.
- Prepare your working environment by avoiding dust, direct sunlight, and ensure that you are planning to work in a well-ventilated space. Mix your resin and hardener in a clean bucket devoid of any prior resin or hardener. Take accurate measurements. Put on your gloves. Watch your work surface.
- Double-check the support layer’s integrity: before applying the Epoxy, your artwork must be mounted on a firm support, leveled, clean, dry, and UV-protected (through an archival acrylic spray varnish).
- Work in small batches: Sometimes coating more than four art pieces at once can lead to disaster. You will have between half an hour and 2 hours to layer the epoxy, remove bubbles, and resolve any other issues that may arise, based on the room temperature. Finishing all the work within that short time may sometimes get complicated.
- Take careful measurements of the resin and hardener.
- Match the sort of resin you’re using to the environment’s curing conditions—for example, don’t try to undertake casting tasks if you can’t regulate heat and humidity for more than a few hours.
- Do not use hardener or resin that is nearing or past its expiration date.
- Use more resin than your estimated amount.
- Wrap your art piece with a durable acrylic varnish before applying resin; if using canvas or fabric, seal the reverse as well.
Maintain a straightforward approach.
- Use a hard, unyielding surface rather than a canvas.
- Use flat surfaces to work.
- Practice on surfaces that are a little “grippy” at first: Not vinyl, but paper.
When in doubt, always test first.
- With potentially porous or difficult surfaces -test on a blank before committing to the art piece directly.
- When utilizing specific types of resin for the first time, perform a test on a blank.
- Work in a well-ventilated area and wear protective gear such as masks, gloves, and goggles.
You can do the following to get neat margins on your painting:
- Secure the bottom borders with tape.
- Position the artwork so that its bottom borders do not touch the table. You can lift the painting from the bottom with any tool (pieces of wood, bottle caps, etc.) to keep it entirely flat and level, but with the bottom margins an inch over the table.
- Pour the resin, making sure there’s enough to flow evenly on both sides.
- You’ll have clean, resin-coated edges with drips accumulating around the bottom borders. Allow time for the resin to cure.
- Remove the drips from the bottom borders using sandpaper. To have a very clean-cut, you can use a sander or a router. After that, you’ll be able to entirely remove the tape from the lower edge.
How to Work Safely with Epoxy Resin
It is important to utilize epoxy resin safely and effectively at home. To safeguard yourself, and your family, you must adhere to certain basic safety guidelines.
Working in a well-ventilated room with enough airflow is the most crucial safety precaution to take. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a mask and gloves. Once you prepare your resin, and it starts to cure, you’ll need to wear a ventilator mask to protect yourself from any fumes.
Various epoxy resin brands have different smells; some are odorless; nonetheless, just because you can’t smell anything doesn’t mean you’re not inhaling vapors. Epoxy resin can cause allergic reactions, so if you have any skin irritation or respiratory problems, cease using it immediately.
The workplace comes next. You can work from your home, many do. After all, for most individuals, this is a pleasurable hobby. However, if you work from home, it is recommended that children or pets should not be exposed to any epoxy fumes. After each use, make sure to carefully wipe your surfaces and clothes, and keep your workspace as far away from communal areas as possible.
Lastly, apply skin protectants on the forearms as you can’t cover them, and to wash off the equipment use another place rather than the family kitchen. Whatever your setup, make sure that you do your studies and work ethically. It’s a lot more enjoyable when you know you’re protecting yourself and others.
I hope these tips will help you to know about resin artwork. Now follow the guidelines and enjoy making your resin artwork.