This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.
Resin is a great medium to work with. It creates tangible pieces and can be used in lots of different ways to bring elevation to a piece. It's also super addictive to work with! Why? For me, I think its something to do with the instant gratification of finishing something and getting to experience the results the next day when its cured. It can also be a frustrating medium to use because it likes to show all the imperfections and needs protection while hardening to avoid surprise appearances by bugs, hair, and dust.
So what to do when starting to work with resin?
Here are 5 things I feel will set you up for success as you learn to play with resin.
Get everything you need set up before even mixing your resin. When you mix resin there is a 'working time' and that clock starts when A&B meet in your cup and you mix. Make sure you have a plastic sheet or silicone mat down to protect your work surface from resin drips. Grab your safety gear (gloves, extra gloves, apron, and respirator). Have extra of everything you plan on using within reach. For example, and extra mold comes in handy for last-minute creations with the last of the resin left in your cup if you mixed too much. You don't want to waste a drop!
When shopping for silicone molds. Make sure they are made of 100% silicone and shiny on the inside. The shiny layer will create the shiny resin pieces you want. When you get your molds be sure to check for any imperfections. If you can feel the imperfections on the surface with your finger then they will transfer onto the molds. Check out some of the Crownmade coaster molds here.
Get a good respirator. If there is one thing you need to invest in (aside from good resin) its this. It's not to scare you in working with resin. Its to protect you because believe me, you are going to want to work with resin A LOT! And taking this side of things seriously will mean you get to enjoy working with resin for a long time safely. Here is one that I use: https://amzn.to/3keu88z
Good mixing cups with clear measurements. My go-to order on Amazon is here. They come with wooden craft sticks which always come in handy.
Resin. I will be going into more detail on Resin in another blog post. But for now, just understand you get what you pay for. And remind yourself you didn't get into resin because it was a cheap craft to do anyway! You pride yourself on making quality pieces and with that comes spending a little bit more on quality supplies. Unless you are doing pours deeper than 0.5 inches you don't need a casting resin. So a good 1:1 resin will be great! More on this later.
Make time for yourself. There is nothing worse than being rushed when it comes to creating with resin. I have made countless silly mistakes because I have been in a rush or not given myself enough time to do what I wanted to do. You are going to want to be able to come back to your pieces at intervals and make sure bubbles are popped that are forming on the surface etc.
4. Let Go!
Let go of all expectations and you won't be disappointed! Ha! Easier said than done I know but seriously. The resin will behave how it wants to behave and if you are just getting started you need to put in the hours of just experimenting and trying to recreate loosely what you have in your head. What looks like trash to you someone else is going to love! Crazy right!?
5. Find a community of Artists for support and troubleshooting
As creatives, we can be our own worst enemy and critic. In a world of online distance and even now as I write this social distancing with COVID we will find ourselves reeling inwards. It is important to surround yourself with people who can cheer you on, celebrate with you, and encourage each other to grow. Be social on social media. Ask questions, comment back, go and celebrate others and it will come back to you too! You can learn a lot by taking the time to read through comment threads and there are great artists out there who are teaching and leading in all things resin. If you would like to join my Resin Maker Community I would love to see you there! Click here to join.