As most of you know, the key ingredient to my art is the use of epoxy resin. I hate that it’s such a yucky product…but, I try and off-set that by all the recycling we do with glass etc. For years, I’ve been researching other resins trying to find the perfect resin that’s either easier on our environment, or one that’s safer to use. I’m happy to say, I’ve found one! It’s called ART RESIN! This company has been working for a long time to get patent approval and it’s finally hit the market! I’m happy to say that The Shard Shop will now be selling this product in our store AND on our site (which we hope to make live very, very soon!) Art Resin is PERFECT for ShardART! It’s safer to use AND has more UV inhibitor than any other resin I’ve used.
RESIN! It’s the GOO that keeps it all together!!!
There are a few subtle differences in ART RESIN and EX-74 which is what I’ve been using for years. ART RESIN requires vigorous mixing for THREE MINUTES rather than two minutes with E-74. Also, the ART RESIN takes a little longer to “set up”. But, the result is wonderful…it’s gloriously clear and shiny and it’s what makes glass shine so brightly! Although the company says that there is virtually no odor and no little particles float up into the air when you’re mixing it…I still say that an organic vapor mask should be worn at all times while using this product.
Here are more tips I ALWAYS recommend to my students when using resin:
1) ALWAYS READ THE MSDS for the product you’re using (here’s the one for ART RESIN)
2) Prepare your work surface and your body for sticky stuff. Lay down plastic sheeting or a trash bag. Elevate your art off the surface, put on nitrile gloves, protective eyewear and a mask. Work in a well ventilated area away from pets and bugs.
3) Get TWO mixing cups and a stir stick and your two part epoxy resin. Measure equal parts of resin and hardener into the first mixing cup, leaving enough room for VIGOROUS MIXING. For example, to mix 8 oz. of resin, pour 4 oz of Part A (resin) into a cup, then pour 4 oz of Part B (hardener) into the same cup. Your mixing container must be 50% larger than your mix to allow for an adequate area of mixing. MIX vigorously while constantly scraping the sides of your container FOR 90 SECONDS. Then pour all the contents into the second mixing cup scraping the sides to make sure you get everything into your second cup. Mix vigorously for another 90 seconds. DO NOT SHORT CUT THIS STEP and mix for three minutes in one cup! You will ruin your art! No matter how much you scrape the sides of the first cup, there is still unmixed resin at the bottom of that cup! Using two cups prevents this. Don’t worry if the mixture is cloudy…your resin will clear up after it’s poured.
4) If you’re using resin as a varnish to a painting, then pour and spread it and let it drip off the edges. If you’re using it to make shardART, drizzle the resin from your stir stick over all the glass first, then spread it in the open spaced with your fingers. Don’t pour resin over your whole piece or you’ll just flood your art with too much resin. Practice this with patience!
5) Use a heat gun to degas the bubbles. Do not use a hair dryer. Yes, you can use a blow torch. For either the torch or the gun, keep it moving just above the surface and you’ll see the bubbles popping.
6) Let sit over night. Air temperature greatly changes the speed at which the resin cures. The hotter it is,the faster it cures.
7) VERY IMPORTANT*** If you have mixed too much resin and there is still over half an inch in your mixing cup, pour out left over resin onto your plastic covered work space and allow it to self-level. It will self-level to a depth where it will cure safely. If you leave it in a cup with a depth of more than half an inch, it will heat up and start to off-gas and it is extremely toxic. Always use caution when working with and disposing of resin.