Monday, January 13, 2014

Adventures in Resin

The last few days have been rather adventuresome in the world of resin.  For years I've used a basic epoxy resin - and I've gotten very familiar with it.  We're like old friends, or possibly a quarrelsome but basically content married couple.  Resin is quirky - that's the nicest way to put it.  If I'm not feeling so generous, I'd say it's maddening - just when you think you have it totally figured out it'll turn on you.  Teeny little weird bubbles.  Giant obnoxious obvious bubbles.  Strangely inexplicably halfway full of bubbles.  Basically, lots of bubbles.

To combat this, I control everything that's possible to control - temperature, curing time, mixing time etc.  In other words, I parsed the resin directions like I was getting ready for a law school exam.  And then I did actual experiments and took notes and tried a zillion different combinations until I had a fairly predictable system.  (Yes, after all of that, the resin is still only *fairly* predictable.)

So it would kind of make you think that I'd *never* change the type of resin I use, right? That seems reasonable.

But… I keep hearing about bio-resins.  And their attributes sound pretty compelling.  I mean, look at this:

Who wouldn't want to reduce environmental impact and significantly reduce carbon footprint?  I know, I do too.

So I ordered a bunch of it and have started experimenting.  Experiment being the optimal word - because does it behave exactly like the other epoxy resin I have studied in such minute detail?  Of course not.  After all, it's resin - and resin doesn't make anything easy.  So now I'm back to the beginning - keeping notes, running experiments, controlling all of the variables.  Which also means that about 30 new pieces I meant to have up in my Etsy shop are not in my Etsy shop at all - they're sitting in a box marked "oops".  But I think I'm gaining on it, because the last batch looked beautiful.  So I'm soldiering forth with this bio-resin idea, and will report back once it's fully operational.

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