UV Resin Curing Contraption

I have really been enjoying my experimentation with UV Resin, but when summer ended, so did available sunlight to cure the resin! So, I decided to look for a UV light. Most are basically those little machines used to dry acrylic nails, and are super tiny.

While looking around on the net I found a site by Gera Scott Chandler called, ‘a Mused Studio.’ She had a couple of posts on her site about a UV Resin curing ‘oven’ that she built! She had ordered her own UV light, so I did some research and learned more about fluorescent lights than I ever thought I would in my lifetime. hahaha! One of the comments on her post mentioned going to the pet store for a light, and I learned that UV lights are used in reptile cages to keep them healthy. Ding!Ding!Ding! I decided to try to construct something myself. I used some of the same ideas Gera used, but deviated a bit as well.

foil trays wire rack and fluorescent light

Here are the basic components I used: a plastic-covered wire pantry shelf, a couple of foil roasting pans and an 18″, 15 watt, 50 UVB T8 fluorescent light used for pet reptile terrariums. I also used a bit of wire, duct tape, foil and the lid from a shirt box.

Gera must’ve really thought long and hard about how to construct her oven, because she figured out the best way to make the basic structure. Those plastic-covered wire pantry shelves are the perfect solution for a structure that suspends the UV ballast above the pieces to be cured. I attached the ballast to the wire shelf using 22 gauge floral wire. As Gera suggested, I also removed the clear plastic guard over the fluorescent bulb to get maximum UV light exposure while curing the resin.

wiring closeup

For the lid, I used two of the largest foil roasting pans I could find at the dollar store and molded them to fit the width of the basic structure so it’d fit over it like a lid. Since one pan wasn’t long enough, I cut the ends off of each pan. It’s very easy to score the pans with a screwdriver.

cut foil trays

Then I used duct tape to to join the two pans together so it just fits over the wire shelf and ballast. I also duct taped the scraps that were cut off the ends to cover gaps in the middle of the lid.

lid

To make a simple base so all of the UV light is contained, I found a shirt gift box lid that was the perfect width. It was a bit short, so I unfolded one end. It’s lined with tin foil, but mylar tissue wrap could be used and be more durable. Two more shallow foil pans could also be cut and molded to create a base, but time was of the essence (see my Domo sculpt posts,) so I used the box lid.

light and base

Now it’s all ready to cure the resin! Just put pieces to be cured on the foil box base and place the wire shelf structure over it. You can adjust it back and forth to get maximum light coverage. Then place the foil pan lid over the base and plug in the light.

Okay, so it’s not the prettiest. It kind of looks like an Airstream trailer, but it does the job beautifully!

UV Contraption and airstream

…UV resin curing contraption, or Airstream trailer…you be the judge.

 

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Happy New Year!

Domo New Year

Domo was done with Christmas tree duty, so he partied hearty on New Year’s Eve (with sparkling grape juice, of course.)

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Ho Ho Domo!

domo on top of christmas tree

This year I finally sculpted the Domo star for my little Christmas tree. I have had the basic idea in my head for a couple of years now, believe it or not. He’s sculpted out of polymer clay. The stars were made out of the UV Resin I am really loving right now. I added accents on the stars by applying tiny silver beads into the resin before it was cured. Yellow alcohol based pigment was used on the big star in the middle, then the tiny silver beads were shaped into an inner star shape on top.

Here’s another shot of Domo on the tree, taken with the flash so he’s easier to see.

domo star closeup taken with flash

He’s attached to the tree with floral wire that I wrapped with green floral tape so it would blend in with the tree. The wire was coiled into a tight spiral so that it could be wrapped around the tree and the end is inserted in a small hole I made in Domo’s right foot.

One last shot in better light where the stars are more visible

domo star closeup isolated

Happy Holidays!

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Pie crust thingies

pie crust thingies

Every Thanksgiving I am responsible for the pumpkin and apple pies since I’m the only one that can seem to come close to reproducing the super flaky and awesome crust my mom made. (Thank goodness I paid attention when she baked pies!)

This year I had a little bit of pie crust dough left over. Every time this happens, I always make pie crust roll-up thingies. My mom used to make them. Basically you roll the dough out into a rectangle then scatter little pieces of butter all over it. Next you sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the entire thing, then roll up the dough, starting at the long end so it sort of looks like a jelly roll. Then you cut them into about 1″ long pieces, place them on a cookie sheet and bake until they are golden and flaky.

Warning: they are addictive.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tiny clear squares with aqua and gold

Here’s another pair of earrings. This time I used resin and embedded tiny glass aqua beads and even more tiny gold beads.

resin squares with blue glass beads and gold beads

Here’s a close up showing the mix of beads floating in the clear resin. (sorry about the glare.)

closeup of resin square with blue glass beads and gold beads

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Matte discs and translucent drops

Woah, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to post anything. I’ve been busy with a lot of freelance design work, but I’m still coming up with lots of new ideas! I’ve also started a lot of jewelry, but haven’t had the time to finish them completely! I was able to get the following two earring designs completed and managed to snap some quick shots as well:

black and gold disc earrings

This pair are tiny black matte discs with clear resin layered over a small channel filled with metallic copper colored resin. I like the contrast of the matte and the ultra shiny resin.

translucent drop with bead charms

For this pair I tried out sculpting some translucent drop shapes with a touch of clear resin at the bottom. To embellish them a bit,  I added some metallic beads that dangle in front of the drop.

There is one other pair that are completed, but the photos didn’t do them justice, so once I get a good shot of them, I’ll post ’em.

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Fun With Faces

(mouse over image above to see sketched version)

I started sketching some faces, then thought of trying a little experiment–I wanted to use an identical head shape for all the different character faces, then add simple little touches here and there to make them all very different.

The girl, boy, dog and cat were all ideas that came to mind right away…but I have no idea how a bug and chicken popped into my head.

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Gold chain and resin this time

Here is another pair of earrings I created using molded resin. This time I used a different mold and stuck to gold tones.

Gold chain and resin earrings

As with the previous silver earrings,  I used a little mineral powder, some chain, glass beads, microbeads and a charm.

Gold chain and resin earrings 2

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Resin and chain earrings

Using one of the molds from my previous post, I made this pair of earrings:

Chain and resin earrings

I used clear resin and added some gold micro beads and metallic mineral powder in layers in the resin. A thin silver chain is wrapped from back to front around the resin disc and a small silver charm and two small gold glass seed beads embellish the front.

The mineral powder looks really great when light hits it.

Chain and resin earrings 2

 

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Like chewing gum with your hands

silicon molds

I love making silicon molds. You knead Part A and Part B together with your fingers until they are fully mixed (you can’t see any streaks of color) and then press around whatever you want to mold. While you’re kneading it, it feels like bubble gum. In this case, I molded some shapes I sculpted out of polymer clay. I’ll be using them for some jewelry components. Stay tuned…

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