Resin Jewelry Making – How to Prepare Inclusions
By Michael Cluley
Resin jewelry making provides you the ability to encapsulate objects and suspend them in the resin; producing jewelry items that incorporate materials that may not otherwise be used in jewelry making. Many items may be embedded within resin jewelry including insects, plants, pictures and fabric. The most important thing to consider when embedding objects into resin is that the inclusion is completely free from moisture as the moisture can interfere with the resin curing process. The following explains how inclusions should be prepared before being embedded into resin.
Flowers and Vegetation
Flowers, leaves and other garden vegetation must be dried and completely free of moisture. They can either be pressed (by using a press or between pages of a large book and blotting paper and left for several weeks). Pressed flowers should be coated with craft or decoupage glue as darker flower colours may bleed into the resin and lighter colours may become transparent. Alternatively, small blooms of flowers can be dried be covering them with silica gel for several weeks. They can then be sprayed with clear acrylic spray before being embedded into the liquid resin.
Wooden pieces should be sealed with resin, craft or decoupage glue and cured before embedding into resin. This will prevent air bubbles from escaping from the wooden piece, which will in turn create bubbles in the resin jewelry casting.
Pictures and Photographs
For best results use mat or photocopied images as some ink-jet printed images will bleed when glue is applied to seal the image. For best results, print the image on photo paper and leave 24 hours to thoroughly dry. You can often embed it like this straight away, but for extra caution, seal the image with a small amount of craft or decoupage glue. This will seal the image and prevent ink from bleeding out into the resin and the original image becoming transparent.
Small 3-D Objects such as games pieces, shells and figurines can usually be added to resin with little preparation. They must firstly be washed with detergent and left to dry. For best results to avoid creating air bubbles, they should be brushed with a layer of resin prior to adding them to the liquid resin.
To prevent flavourings from candy, dried foods and sweets from bleeding out into the resin, they should be sprayed with clear acrylic spray and left to dry thoroughly over night. As with 3-D objects, to prevent air bubbles, they should be coated with a brushed layer of resin prior to adding them to the liquid resin.
Most fabric can be included in resin jewelry without any prior preparation, however to prevent any fabric dye from bleeding into the resin the fabric can be sealed with craft or decoupage glue. Alternatively, a range of fabric paper is available in craft shops that already coated so its colour will remain once embedded in resin.
Examples of other items that that may be embedded within resin jewelry and usually do not require any prior preparation include glitter, glass, metal power, beads and confetti. These items can be included within resin jewelry for decoration or to change the texture of the object. Light objects will suspend within the resin but heavier ones will sink to the bottom, therefore heavier items must be added when the resin has cured for a while and the resin has become firmer.