We had a blast at the July events and are looking forward to the upcoming conventions in August!
I created a new t-shirt and banner design for events!
readersfavorite.com will have all three of my published “Blood Inheritance Novels” listed as prizes in the monthly book giveaway. If you are interested in winning some amazing books by great authors you can check out the monthly giveaway here: book giveaway /Rise or/and here: book-giveaway/lost and here: book-giveaway/endow
Upcoming Event Reminders:
Concealed Realms is now schedule to participate in Quad Con on August 7 in Springfield, IL The event will take place at the Crowne Plaza Convention Center. To learn more visit: quadcity.com
We are scheduled to participate at Raptor Con! The new dates for the event are August 21st and 22nd. This event takes place in Evansville Indiana. To learn more visit: www.RaptorCon.com
*For 10% off your RaptorCon ticket purchase use code CONREAL at checkout*
Information on the rescheduled Dupage MightyCon has been added to our events page.
The Madison Comic Con will take place
Sunday, September 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Exhibit Hall, 1 John Nolan Drive, Madison WI 53703. The date to this event was recently changed to Sunday, August 29th. (Awaiting confirmation due to scheduling conflict.) Please check our events page for new updates!
Concealed Realms is planning to participate in the Peoria Quad Con on September 25th and 26th. This event takes place at Northwoods Mall.
Concealed Realms will be returning to Sci-Fi Family Day at Discovery World! This event takes place on Saturday, Oct 2nd at 500 N Harbor Dr. Milwaukee, WI.
Oddmall: Chrishanukwanzmadan information has been updated on the events page. It is now set to take place on Saturday, December 11th from 10 AM- 6 PM at Tadmor Shrine – 3000 Krebs Drive Akron, Ohio 44319.
“That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of our time.” – John Stuart Mill
“Creativity: the art of not trying, the art of letting go.” – Maxime Lagacé
“If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things.” – Larry Page
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” – Jack Keroua
“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” – Neil Gaiman
“When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way; you will command the attention of the world.” – George Washington Carver
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” – Gustave Flaubert
“When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way; you will command the attention of the world.” – George Washington Carver
“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.” – Leo Tolstoy
“I shut my eyes in order to see.” – Paul Gauguin
Definition of conceive:
verb “to form a notion or idea of; imagine.”
a) “to cause to begin.”
b) “to form a conception of : imagine”
Creating with Resin – Part One (Basics)
Generally, every other month I pick a topic related to creativity in some way for an article. This past month, in order to help boost my creative flow, I decided to try a new outlet and use that for the basis of my post. I have been interested in resin and all the fascinating applications that it can be use in for quit some time.
People use resin for many types of crafts including, woodworking, jewelry making, countertop design, decorative accents, paint pouring art, flooring, and so much more… It would seem that once you have a handle on working with it, you are only limited by the scope of your imagination.
Now, I have big Idea’s about what I could do with resin in the future. Maybe I can create the gems from “The Blood Inheritance Quartet, since they are an important part of the series, or redesign the wands that I created with my 3D printer, using a handmade resin casting mold… as far as I can see it, the possibilities are endless, but first I have to start with the basics.
I have never used any resin crafting products before so I picked up a clear cast starter kit in order to familiarize myself with the materials. Somewhere along the way, I also decided to make this a two part post, and ordered up two jewelry making kits to further experiment with before next months article. In this post I will share what I created with the basic kit and the things I learned along the way.
*Due to this planned two part creativity post, the next mythology themed article will be live in October, instead of September.*
*Note: I am not being incentivized in anyway by the manufacturers or their retailers to endorse/review the products shown in this post.*
what is Epoxy Resin anyway?
Epoxy resin is epoxy adhesive in its liquid form. There are two primary parts – the resin and the hardener/or curing agent. When combined properly a chemical reaction occurs, and the hardening process ensues. If you would like a more in depth explanation or are curious to know more about different types of resin, you can check out this link here: epoxy-resin-guide It is filled with useful information. If you would prefer to read more scientific or historical information, you can check out this page here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Epoxy
Below is the original basic kit that I purchased and a short list of other items that would be good to have on hand for the process. I really wanted to get a feel for how to best work with the silicone molds and the resin and I thought that these bigger molds would be great for initial trials.
preparations for your work area
Find a level surface in a well ventilated area to set up. You should cover your work area with a silicone mat or equivalent. It is also a good idea to have rubbing alcohol on hand for spills. Resin is very hard to clean. You can help protect your skin by wearing finger cots or disposable gloves. The room temperature that you’re doing resin crafts in should be about 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Below that and your resin may not cure, above that and your resin may cure too quickly.
-Make sure the molds you are using are clean before pouring resin into them.
-You could also measure your molds in advance, so that you do not make way too much resin.
Although exact mixing instructions will vary depending on the brand or type of resin used, I found that it is sometimes suggested to submerge the bottle of epoxy and the bottle of hardener in hot water (not boiling) for fifteen to twenty minutes. This is said to help the epoxy and hardener to mix nicely and avoid excessive air bubbles.
To mix the epoxy resin that I purchased you need to use a 50/50 ratio = equal parts epoxy solution and hardener solution. Precise and accurate measurements are a must or epoxy will not set right.
I measured the equal parts in the measuring cups that came with the kit, pouring the hardener into the epoxy slowly. (In my opinion, it seemed that adding the thinner liquid first was best)Stir the liquid in one direction at a slow pace to prevent air bubbles. Continue mixing for three to five minutes, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the container as you stir. If you can see thin white wisps throughout the liquid after five minutes, keep stirring until they are no longer present before attempting to pour the mixture into molds.
*During the mixing and pouring process, bubbles will form to some extent, but there are ways to avoid and deal with them.*
-After you pour the resin into a mold, you can use a needle to help drive bubbles to the surface and/or pop them.
-Use heating tools to break the surface tension and burst the bubbles by holding a heat gun or blow dryer a few inches above the mold. You can also wave it back and forth over the project to shake bubbles loose, but be sure to do so slowly, in order to avoid pushing the resin out of the mold.
Let the resin cure completely. It should not feel tacky. The resin I am using takes about twenty-four hours to cure. Once completely set, it should pop out of the mold easily, but if you are using smaller molds, and have difficulty removing the hardened resin, a little soap and water can go along way in helping the mold release. After use, wash the empty molds with warm soapy water.
My first attempts
I started with the square coaster and the sphere molds.
For coloring the square mold, I used a few droplets of the included yellow and red inks, which I added directly to the already poured clear resin. I then used a needle to swirl the colors around a bit before utilizing a pair of metal tweezers too add a few of the gears that came with the kit. I then turned my heat gun to its lowest setting and moved it around a few inches above the project to eliminate surface bubbles.
*In hind sight, I probably should have taken care of the air bubbles before adding the gears, as they could have become trapped beneath the objects.
For the sphere, I separated the clear mixed resin into four small cups, then added a few drops of blue and purple inks into each. I stirred the inks completely into the resin until they were a solid color. I then added them into the mold a little bit at a time, alternating them until the mold was half full. At this point I added just a small pinch of silver glitter, before continuing to fill the mold with the resin. I then used a long needle to swirl the colors, but just a little. It was also helpful to use the long needle to drive deep air bubbles up toward the surface, before using the heat gun.
*Note: When mixing color pigments into the resin for solid color, the exact amount added may be modified depending on you preferred color depth, but be aware that it is advised not to exceed six percent colorant to the total volume of resin, as it can affect the resin setup. *This amount may be different depending on the resin used. Be sure to check the individual manufacturers instructions for suggested ratios.
For the next set of molds I wanted to try adding items with varying textures to the resin, so I picked up several different craft supplies that caught my eye at the local dollar store. I was curious how these different things would look setup in the cube and pyramid molds. Unlike the first two molds, I also wanted to try to show defined layers with each addition, so I planned to wait two hours between pours in order to let the resin partially set before continuing on with the next layer.
I started with the cube, initially waiting about two hours between pours and applying the heat gun after each addition, in order to get rid of surface bubbles.
For the first layer, I added silver glitter to the clear resin then poured it into the mold. While I was waiting for the layer to partially set, I did some more research on coloring resin and found that like the inks that were included in the basic kit, you could tint resin with acrylic paint – as long as you were careful not to add too much, so I placed a few bottles that I had on hand within my work space.
For the second layer I mixed in a single drop of acrylic paint, to color the resin and some silver confetti. After pouring it into the mold, the confetti began to float. I didn’t worry too much about the floating confetti, since I was experimenting, but if you look closely at the image of the cube below, you can see that the silver confetti is present in several subsequent layers.
For the third layer, I mixed a few droplets of gold acrylic paint before pouring. I then added several star shaped beads, which seemed to sit in place pretty well, although they are not easy to see.
For the final layer, I added a drop of bronze acrylic paint and a pinch of colored glitter to the resin. Then I sprinkled some gold confetti on top of the previous layer and poured the bronze colored resin on top of it. The gold confetti still floated upward a bit, but it never breached the surface of the final layer.
For the first layer of the pyramid, I added crystal sparkles to the clear resin before the pour. I did notice that after I let the resin set for two hours it was almost completely solid, unlike the layers of the cube which were closer to the consistency of pudding after the wait time.
For the second layer, I added one droplet of white ink and mixed it into the resin before also adding iridescent confetti. A few pieces of confetti did float into the next layer, but nowhere near as much as with the previous mold.
For the third pour, I added white sparkles to the clear resin.
In the next layer I planned to use clear resin with pearls added in, and realizing that they would probably not sink as easily as the beads had, I made adjustments that I hoped would help secure the pearls.
I laid a couple of them on top of the previous layer about an hour after I poured it, then waited another two hours before adding enough clear resin to finish covering them over, but the project seemed unfinished and there was a small amount of space left in the mold, so I chose to add one more thinner layer.
For this final layer, I poured clear resin into the mold, then added a few droplets of yellow ink and one drop of white ink, which I swirled around slightly with a needle before applying heat above the mold to pop any bubbles at the surface.
The lines did not turn out as well defined in the final versions of these two molds as I had hoped they would, so I decided to make a second pyramid. For this next attempt I planned to make the layers slightly thinner and waited twelve to twenty-four hours between them. I also chose to use darker colors that I thought would stick out more.
For the first layer, I used a small amount of black ink to color some resin and poured it into the tip at the bottom of the mold. Then after it set I added dark red glitter to some clear resin before pouring. The resin in the third layer had one drop of red ink and a pinch of black glitter added to it. For the fourth layer, I added a drop of purple ink and a few small scoops of black pebbles. For the fifth layer, I poured clear resin, then added in red sand until it appeared to be level with the liquid. After it set, I sprinkled a small amount of black glitter onto this previous layer, before adding the final pour. I colored the resin in the final layer with a drop of violet ink.
There was one more mold in the kit. For this mold, I decided to just add any extra resin that I ended up with during the experiments. At the time I completed these other crafts, it was about halfway filled. Lets see how it turns out at the end of the next creativity post!
-Leave more time between layers if you want more definition and /or to avoid the possibility of layers merging together.
-Beware of items that float, in some instances it may be best to do two thinner layers allowing the first to partially set before adding the item, then doing the second layer after the first has hardened to make sure that the object is completely sealed in the resin.
So far, I have really enjoyed working with resin! Although I still have loads to learn before I can attempt it, I really like the idea of making my own molds. Practice makes perfect… and I definitely need more practice, so I am really looking forward to receiving the jewelry kits that I ordered and jumping right back into creating with resin.