ArtResin contacted me to share a little something about my resin process! I love that they are a small company and they are artists themselves. You can read more on their website about what makes their product different than other epoxy resins.
My ArtResin story!
I started experimenting with resin last fall after taking a workshop hosted by my friend Becky Arman. I initially signed up for the workshop thinking I could learn how to coat my canvas paintings in a clear layer of resin. In the workshop Becky mixed colored powders into the resin and poured it on wood, then moved it around with popsicle sticks and toothpicks to make designs (I know, genius!). Then I learned that fire was involved. This required a blow torch! I was hooked. When I got home, the first project I tried was pouring the clear layer on some 12"x12" canvas paintings (after all, that's why I took the class in the first place). I got super frustrated because it was NOT working.
I was searching the internet for ways around the problem when I found ArtResin's website. I did a little more research and found that ArtResin is absolutely the best (and safest) resin product out there. I haven't been able to find it anywhere locally (yet) so I've had to order from their website. I've been talking to my local art supply shop about carrying it, so hopefully that will change very soon. I ordered a gallon and started small. I ended up coating a few small canvases, but soon found that it works best on wood or mdf. In the workshop we used little 4"x4" squares of wood. I had the idea that these could be used as coasters (I'm sure that's a totally original idea right?). Well I found some pre-cut mdf squares that had rounded corners and the rest is history.
I started experimenting with different mediums to mix in. I know that ArtResin carries colors that you can mix in, but I wanted to see what I could use that I already had in my studio. My favorite medium is Golden acrylic paint, so that's my main additive along with Jaquard metallic pigment powders. At first I thought I would just make a few coaster sets for an event I had coming up. They would be like little practice pieces before I could (hopefully) work my way up to bigger pieces. I sold out so fast! Then I had custom orders for the holidays. Before I knew it they were my best selling items. Now I have them in four different local shops and I've had orders through my website that have shipped all over the country.
I hadn't forgotten that these were supposed to be practice pieces so that I could work bigger eventually, so after the holidays I started working on some serving trays. These are my favorite! I tend to work larger with my paintings, so I was excited to have more room to create. These have become part of my line of functional art. I hope to keep adding new items to this, but for now I feel the need to keep pushing myself to work larger. I had made a few wall hanging pieces with ArtResin, but nothing is bigger than 12"x12".
When I got an email from Rebecca with ArtResin saying she wanted to send me a free 32 oz kit for a project, I knew it was finally time. I had some 24"x24" cradled birch panels that were sitting in the corner of my studio unopened. I got one of those suckers out and primed it. Then I took it in my garage and started pouring. I used a layer of gold leaf in between layers and experimented with sand paper to create some depth in the metallic parts. I used all 32 oz and then some because I ended up having 4 layers total. I love it & I can't wait to go bigger!
I think its important to note, while ArtResin is safe, some of the additives that I use are not safe once they are heated by the torch. When I'm working on large pieces, I always go to my garage where there is more airflow AND I wear a respirator. I'm kind of a pyromaniac, and I frequently catch small parts of the resin pieces on fire. They go out on their own pretty quickly, but it is important to have a fire extinguisher near as well. Stay safe!