CRYSTAL RESIN Other craft resins on the market: EasyCast, Castin’ Craft, ResinObsession Water Clear Cost per 100ml: Crystal Resin: (based on 300ml pack) £6.65 Castin’ Craft/Polyester: (standard kit 473ml) £4.92 (cheaper non brands are available!) ResinObsession: (standard kit 177ml) £6.78 EasyCast: (standard kit 237ml) £4.84 Pot life (room temperature): Crystal Resin : 4.5hrs Castin’ Craft/Polyester: 10 mins ResinObsession: 1.5hrs EasyCast: 4‐5hrs Curing time (fully cured‐ room temperature‐ 7mm thick pendant) Crystal Resin: 24 hours Castin’ Craft/Polyester: 3 hours ResinObsession: 24 hours EasyCast: 24‐36 hours Under a heat lamp: Crystal Resin: 6 hours Castin’ Craft/Polyester: 3 hours ResinObsession: 6 hours Easy Cast: 12+ hours Fume rating Crystal resin: Low Odour Castin’ Craft: High odour ResinObsession: No odour Easy Cast: Low odour Viscosity Crystal Resin: Easy to pour Castin’ Craft/Polyester: Very thin, easy to pour ResinObsession: Thick Easy Cast: Easy to pour Bubbles when set (room temperature) Crystal Resin: None Castin’ Craft/Polyester: none ResinObsession: minimal
EasyCast: some‐ can be trapped under tiny inclusions Under a heat lamp: Crystal Resin: None Castin’ Craft/Polyester: none ResinObsession: Minimal, tiny EasyCast: Can be trapped under inclusions NOTES‐ I had the usual problem I have with epoxy resins and found it took a lot longer to set than I would normally expect and also it sticks to the moulds due to the way the polymer chains are constructed. Tests were carried out on Polyethylene flexible moulds and Crystal Resin would definitely need a mould release for use, however Gedeo doesn’t seem to offer one! I used Vaseline in the test. I made the rings in a silicone rubber mould, however these seemed to demand a lot more setting time, which is why they are ruined as they were very soft when taken out of the mould. This slowness means that it does benefit from minimal shrinkage though so less work is needed to sand off sharp edges on the back of the pieces. The pieces are less brittle than polyester, so if you were to drop one it would be less likely to smash on the floor, though it does take a couple of days before the pieces are properly hard. Despite being demoulded and not being sticky, they retain some flexibility for quite a while, about 24 hours afterwards. The casting process can thankfully be speeded up by putting it under a lamp with a non‐energy‐efficient bulb by up to 75%. The gold colour was more of a copper, but on the whole the colours are nice to use‐ especially the pearls‐ and it would be interesting to see how this range develops. I tried mixing the colours, but some seem to have stronger pigments than others and they just darken rather than combine. For example the turquoise took twice as much blue to green before it got to the deep teal colour in the round ring, but it is very dark. I really like the fact that a glaze is available, it can be very difficult and time consuming to sand and then polish using pads from 600 up to 15000 microns, and so this should work quite nicely after only a couple of grades are used. I usually use clear nail varnish, but it is great that a specific product is available and Gedeo is unique in that respect.
GLAZING RESIN Other craft resins/glazes on the market: Envirotex Lite, Diamond Glaze Cost per 100ml: Gedeo Resin: (standard kit 150ml) £11.67 Envirotex: (standard kit 237ml) £4.22 Diamond Glaze: (standard kit 60ml) £7.67 Pot life (room temperature): Gedeo Resin: 1.5hrs Envirotex: 1 hour Diamond Glaze: N/A Curing time (fully cured‐ room temperature‐ in shallow bezel) Gedeo Resin: 10‐11 hours Envirotex: 18‐24 hours Diamond Glaze: a couple of hours, but needs several layers for decent doming effect. Fume rating Gedeo Resin: Low, but unpleasant solvent smell. Envirotex: Very low Diamond Glaze: None Viscosity Gedeo Resin: Medium, easy to use Envirotex: Medium, easy to use Diamond Glaze: Too thin Bubbles when pouring Gedeo Resin: Many, can be removed by exhaling over Envirotex: Many, can be removed by exhaling over Diamond Glaze: 0‐1 Bubbles when set Gedeo Resin: Lots of small bubbles Envirotex: Lots of small bubbles Diamond Glaze: Minimal The Crystal Glazing resin is the fastest curing real one coat resin I have ever used for glazing and doming work! It sets very hard, whereas other resins can be marked with a fingernail, which is very good news for Gedeo! It is great for using on wood, etc without edges for a doming effect and also inside of bezels providing they are
not too deep. I used it inside a white plastic bezel and the bubbles were very visible, so some work will need to be done for improving use on deep bezels, or casting resin might have given better results. Smaller measurements shown on the measuring cups would have been much easier to reduce wasted leftover resin, but these are very rarely supplied with resin anyway, other than Envirotex Lite and the Resin Obsession casting resin. The quickness is really a benefit but I did find the smell quite unpleasant to work with and it did give me a headache, however I was inhaling the smell to see what the difference was between the different products! Another disadvantage was that it leaks into paper aggressively, even when sealing with PVA glue (see image on scrabble tile). This probably needs a couple of coats and drying well in‐between coats of glue to prevent this from happening. The cupcake ring was made by coating the paper with nail varnish first. This worked much better. There are a lot of bubbles when mixing the product, but once applied to the piece and left for a couple of minutes, these can easily be popped by exhaling gently over the surface as the carbon dioxide brings them out. I would definitely use it again, it is super clear, very quick and adheres well to the surface. I think it may struggle to gain market share from the current leader Envirotex Lite though unless it had wider availability in physical craft shops or the price was reduced slightly to a comparable level. I have only seen glazing resin for sale online in the UK, but it would be excellent to see this product on the shelves of actual craft shops, it would be much easier to buy this way!
OTHER IDEAS FOR EXPANDING THE RANGE Opaque colour casting resins – simple black and white would be great for backing pieces with a transparent front. As a quick fix I made the opaque teal by adding a small amount of white acrylic paint in the faceted ring. This made it lighter, but you could make it darker with some black acrylic paint. Resin cleaner – To help mop up spillages. Currently I use nail varnish remover. Mould release – Definitely essential for using the casting resins. I used Vaseline and then cleaned the residue off the mould and finished piece with baby wipes for a temporary fix. Moulds Sanding Pads Additional measuring cups ‐ Ideally these can only be reused a couple of times because the marking are harder to see and cleaning resin is difficult, especially where no cleaner is recommended. When making small batches for single pieces of jewellery, the casual crafter may benefit from purchasing spares.
PROJECT – CUPCAKE RING
You Will Need Gedeo Glazing Resin Scrapbook paper (I used Little Cake Shoppe paper from Papermania) Ring blank – Vetri from penny‐dog.co.uk Clear nail varnish PVA glue and brush Mixing cup Mixing stick Scissors 1) Cut the scrapbook page to fit inside the bezel. The Vetri rings have a slight lip so you can cut it a tiny bit bigger and it will still fit. 2) Paint a coat of PVA glue inside the ring and press on the paper piece. Leave to dry for about half an hour. 3) Paint a coating of clear nail varnish thoroughly over the paper. Leave to dry and then apply another coat. 4) Mix two parts A to one part B of the glazing resin using the measuring cups provided in a plastic cup with a disposable stick. About 10ml A and 5ml B is plenty. Mix very well for around 3 minutes as if it isn’t mixed thoroughly it will not set. 5) Fix the ring so that the bezel is facing upwards and is level, plastercine is good for this. 6) Drip the resin into the bezel off the mixing stick drop by drop until it thoroughly covers the paper and creates a dome. Leave to set overnight before wearing.