Progress on the resin tree

So, in my introductory post I shared a photo of a tree I’d cut/engraved/scored from some of the proofgrade maple ply:

I wanted to do something more with it, and decided I wanted to try my hand at resin work, so here’s how things have progressed:

Note: I’m very much a person who needs the project to tell me what happens next, so while I had an idea where I wanted this to go, I kinda felt my way through it. Initially I was going to do layered clear resin with acrylic painting, but once I decided I wanted to make the sky sunset colors, I decided the piece should ultimately be in a back-lit frame.

Anyway…

Because the plywood was warped (I mean, it was -billion degrees and dry as heck here in MN, so all wood shipping here is less than fabulous right now) I cut out a rectangle of clear acrylic and epoxied the wood to the acrylic. Then I filled in a layer of clear resin to seal each cut section and prevent seeping:

That was yesterday. Then I had to let it cure for 24 hours :sob: So to pass the time, I did a quick color-up plan (coloring is possibly my least favorite of the crafts - my daughter could color better than me at age 2):

I based this on sunset photos I’ve taken (I DO love photography!)

This morning I FINALLY got to start adding color. I used food coloring to color the resin so it would be transparent:

And this is where it is with the second layer in (note: the clouds are way cooler than what you can see in the picture, but I couldn’t get a good angle because of the lights in my room and trying to avoid glare):

(I’ll take a better shot tomorrow once I can move it upright and place it in better lighting!)

My thoughts now: Let it cure for the night and see what I want to do in the morning. I’m thinking I’d like to add very small brush strokes of gold in the tree, but I am not 100% on that. If not, I’ll fill it in with clear resin and get to work on the frame.

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Wow!!! What a beauty!

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Ooooof! :star_struck:

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That’s really cool!

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I love it. I am trying to figure out how to do resin coloration for the wings of a butterfly and this given me some great tips / ideas,

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I have some tips I can write out if you’d like, after I feed my minions…

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That would be wonderful. Thanks!

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This is absolutely gorgeous!

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Good gravy, that is stunning! Beautiful work!

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Oh I can’t wait to dive into all my resin with my laser too! SO gorgeous!!

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Ooooo, very cool! You could get some sparkle in there by adding some mica powder (like PearlEx) or fine glitter into the resin.

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My daughter is begging me to add glitter to the top layer of blue so there are stars in the sky. I am going to hold it up to the light tomorrow to see if it is a starry sky up there :slight_smile:

I have a wish-list of fillers, but this is the slow season for our main business and I’m trying to be a responsible crafter. So hard!!!

Do you have any particular ones/brands you like to buy?

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This is amazing! I’ve never done any resin work…looks very cool!

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So nice!
I think your Daughter’s idea has merit. A very light sprinkling of glitter - you could even do a constillation!

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Oh, I meant to mention that any of my work is subject to inspirational evolution also. That introduces the potential for it to be even better than you originally envisioned! That rush you get when the inspiration strikes - yeah, that. :sunglasses:

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So, if you’ve already worked with resin, everything I have to say will sound very basic, but if you haven’t, these tips turned out to make life better:

  • Packing tape (The clear stuff) is great for sealing edges or filling completely open spaces that don’t have a solid backing

  • The grocery store had cheap plastic shot glasses (probably left over from New Years) - they were fantastic blending cups. The old measuring cups and syringes from my kids’ medicines were also used! :smiley:

  • Food coloring worked GREAT! But if you don’t mix it well enough, you can end up with tiny “specks” of dye in your pour. However, these specks of dye can then be swirled around and it makes a really cool effect. So, that was a neat accidental discovery!

  • To get the different colors, I read the suggested blends on the food coloring packaging. I have some of those plastic paint palettes with the shallow dished circles, and I pre-mixed the food coloring in that (in numerical order, corresponding to a sheet I wrote the color names on). Then when I was blending it in the resin, I just dipped my mixing stick in the color and blended it in bit by bit until it was the right intensity.

  • Pipettes are the BEST THING EVER for getting resin into the tiny places.

  • I also learned (by watching YouTube) that resin can be poured side-by-side and it won’t entirely mix, so I did that for some of the color blending in the sky. Then I swished it around with a tooth pick like you do when making a marble cake.

  • I also used the tooth-picks to ease the resin into the corners and help get rid of bubbles.

I think those are the main things that made my life easier and sounded useful to pass along! I know there are resin experts here, so if anyone else has info to add, chime in!

This was a very fun and quite calming project to work on!

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yeah, that discovery of mixing with the toothpick is a perfect example of what I was talking about! :sunglasses:

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I’m considering trying to do some of that in the final pour layer, but I need to do an experimental pour into something else tonight to see if I can accomplish the look I want.

Seriously the most meditative crafting I’ve done in ages. And it’s low-fume, so I don’t think that was it :smiley:

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At first it kinda reminded me of those paint by numbers window hanger things I used to do when I was a kid, but by the end it turned out so much better than I expected!

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Great tips! I’ve got one to add re bubbles: tapping your piece gently on your work surface will encourage any bubbles to rise to the surface, and then you can pop them by either exhaling across your piece (if using low-fume!) or using a heat gun to gently blow hot air at an angle across your piece.

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