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There’s something intriguing about looking into a clear crystal; whether it is a diamond or a piece of resin jewelry imbedded with treasures. Resin isn’t as scary to work with as you may think. I’ve simplified the process from the Rustic Resin Pendants and included some shiny silver metals so it couldn’t be easier. Check out this step by step DIY to make your own hammered metal and resin jewelry.
I have a passion for casting resin jewelry but I will admit that I also love my silver! This unique method allowed me to combine both my loves. You could however use your metal of choice since it will not tarnish once imbedded in the resin.
Tools and materials needed:
- metal wire (aluminum or other, thick or thin depending on your choice of finished pieces)
- variety of tools to cut and bend; wire cutter pliers, needle-nose pliers, round nose pliers, flat pliers
- Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast Resin (plus container to mix in, stirring utensil)
- Optional Colour: Pebeo Vitrail or Titanium Dioxide
- Alumilite Amazing Mold Putty
- Wet Sandpaper (200, 400, 600, 1000, 2000, Grits)
- Novus Plastic polish system
- Carnauba Wax (optional for shine)
- various finishing findings, jump rings, bails etc
The Metal Shapes:
When I was planning for these I was doodling a variety of squiggles. Since wire is a continuous line you need to keep that in mind as well as the fact that once you hammer it becomes a wider shape. You can use symbolic shapes, or stylized letters, or just random designs. It is really quite fun since it does not need to be perfect.
I own my own anvil, so that is where I hammered it. They are not that expensive and it comes in handy for the many crafts I do. If you don’t have one you can use the concrete floor but it will pick up the texture. A scrap piece of iron or hard metal will also work. (sometimes you need to think outside the box or look in the garage ) I wanted a very hand-forged look and evidence of the dents and irregularities. Tap tap tap, with the edge of the hammer, or a round nose ball ping hammer. Aluminum is a very soft metal and works great for this.
The more you hammer a section the wider it will be, so it gives some extra interest.
Flowers and hearts and curly-q’s, whatever is your liking.
Keep in mind the fact that they will expand in size and that the resin will also make it bigger. If you want to make sure they are as shiny as possible you can also polish them with some household metal polish.
The Resin Shapes:
When I first fell in love with resin; casting the Rustic Resin Pendants I did a lot of work shaping the pieces. I can’t say that I love that much dust. Therefore, to make this even simpler I used some of those pendant shapes to make my own silicone molds. (you could also buy your own molds) This allowed them to be quite unique. You could even use some found simple object shapes as masters for casting molds.
This Amazing Mold Putty is truly amazing! It seems like there is not much in the container but it does make a lot. I made all these with about half of the kit.
Take out equal size pieces of each part and knead together until it is one consistent colour. Work fairly quickly and sculpt it around the master piece. Keep even thickness, up the sides and a flat level bottom. It sets quite quickly once it is no longer moldable.
Preplan the placements. To add a bit more sparkle and another rustic metal element you can add some silver leaf flakes.
I had become frustrated trying to find some flakes sooooo, I put the large silver leaf sheets into the coffee grinder… It worked great! Just do not sneeze, as these are so light they will blow away. Secure them in a container.
Slowly mix equal parts of ‘A’ &’B’ until no striations are visible. You don’t want to mix too strongly or bubbles will form. If you would like to slightly tint the resin Pebeo Vitrail works well or if you would like some wispy white waves a bit of titanium dioxide is great. (I use it in soap as well)
Pour the resin slowly from a long tall stream to eliminate bubbles. Also a quick pass with a lighter or mini torch will burst the bubbles.
Place your awesome shapes and the flakes. Fuss with them by a toothpick.
All set to set…
No, it did not turn into wood… Those are my other ones, but these will be finished in the same process. Once they come out of the molds they will still need to be sanded and polished, but they are already shaped.
I HATE the dust and don’t have a proper vacuum system so I sand wet, in a tray with a bowl of water nearby to rinse and repeat. Only use the rough (200, 400, 600 grit) on the corners and ‘pour edge’ that you want to round out. The rest will only need the finer (1000, 2000 grit) sanding and polishing. Work carefully and slowly so as not to expose the embed. Watch a movie or listen to music as you do… End with polishing and wax.
Icy blue like water; and silver leaf flakes work nicely together.
Set the bails or finding by drilling tiny holes. There are many options for findings including wire wrapping.
The white swirl in this one is a tiny bit of titanium dioxide (powder that white paint is made of) mixed into some resin and swirled in. Since the resin sets slow, wait until it has more viscosity until you add it.
Slightly less flattened but also beautiful. Here’s your excuse to go get ‘hammered’!
If you love these resin pieces I have a few in my Etsy shop as well. Happy Making!