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11  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Translucent mold making materials? on: August 18, 2010 09:39:10 AM
Diane, clay does leave a cloudy appearance. It releases fine, but you have to be very careful all the seams are smoothed (for the walls of the mold), or resin goes in there since it's so thin and a) makes a mess, b) leaves less resin in the casting, so if you're not careful, most of it is gone before it gels. However, if somebody needs a one-time-use mold for a casting that they're going to paint anyway (so that surface cloudiness doesn't matter), it's a cheap and easy material.
12  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Partially Cloudy Resin (from a resin n00b) on: August 15, 2010 12:29:15 PM
Pools on the bottom? Sounds like a possible cause, for sure. What brand is it? Ease Release 200, which I use, doesn't do that even for molds that have much steeper sides. It's a spray (like spray paint). Instructions say the same thing - spray, brush around with a paintbrush, wait ~5 min to dry, spray again, wait to dry, cast.
13  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Translucent mold making materials? on: August 15, 2010 12:12:14 PM
Your eye looks really good! If you only need to make one specific mold, then you can have someone else who already has vacuum equipment make it from Dragon Skin 20 (or another liquid silicone), if you contact the mfr (Smooth-On) and they tell you it doesn't block UV. They may take a couple days to respond, but they'll respond. Then, you could send the mold-maker some glass eyes to make the mold from and they would return them along with the actual mold.

I would offer my services (heh) since this type of mold would be sooo easy to make, but I'm moving in a week across the country, and all my casting stuff is going into storage for a year.. or more (sob). So I would try Etsy -> Alchemy, and maybe also search Etsy for ready-made liquid silicone molds and ask people making them to bid on your Alchemy thing. (The translucent molds will look whitish in pictures.) However, it's possible that not all of them use vacuum equipment, which means there might be bubbles. It's possible to do without it, but I can't imagine anyone going through all the work that it'd take to make that work... So I would want to make sure they do. It would still end up costing you less than the cost of silicone alone, since the smallest kit is around 2lb or $30, + shipping if you don't live in a major city - and your mold would probably require less than 100 gm (depending on size, etc).

If they use something other than Dragon Skin 20, you should make sure it's a platinum-cure silicone. It's a little bit more expensive than tin-cure silicone, but it'll last longer and, overall, it'll have better physical properties, like be more difficult to rip. But the only tin-cure silicones that I can think of off the top of my head are colored, so it might not be an issue anyway. Good luck!
14  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Translucent mold making materials? on: August 15, 2010 12:34:52 AM
A lot of platinum-cure silicones are translucent. One of the most popular liquid silicones, and the one that I use, is Dragon Skin 20. I don't know if it blocks UV light though, and I don't have anything glow-in-the-dark that I could use to test. Mfr recommends that molds be.. I think at least 1/2" thick, but that recommendation must be for large molds, not jewelry scale. In my experience, they hold their shape just fine at 1/4", and thinner would probably work too. However, I don't think you can get good results with it without a vacuum setup, which is kinda pricy.

I would look to see if there's a translucent brush-on silicone. (The brush-on that I use, Rebound 25, is not translucent.) It's kind of annoying to make a brush-on mold because you have to do at least 2-3 layers about 1 hour apart, at least for Rebound 25 (which still beats ~30 layers for a latex mold), but it's not so bad if you are making a lot of molds at a time. And then, if you find one that's translucent, email the mfr and ask about UV... If they don't know, I'm sure if you send them something glow-in-the-dark, they'll do the test for you.

I know what you mean about Amazing Mold Putty. What a waste of money... I don't remember the name of the putty silicone I use, since I almost never use it, but it's purple and it's really good. Still, liquid silicone = <3

Speaking of thermoplastics and the heat gun - have you tried getting 2L soda bottles, cutting them up to get big flat(ish) PET sheets, and using your heat gun to thermoform that? I don't know if it would be sturdy enough with just 1 layer of plastic, and I doubt you can fuse separate sheets into one thick sheet at home to make it more sturdy, but I suppose it's worth at least a try. Still, you'd be limited to fairly simple shapes without a lot of topological detail.
15  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Partially Cloudy Resin (from a resin n00b) on: August 09, 2010 01:35:26 PM
It sounds like it's caused by the release since it's only the surface that's cloudy. What are you using? I use Ease Release 200 and never had that problem - and I don't think I wait more than 10 minutes after spraying to cast. It's only carried by specialty stores though, so you can only find it locally if you live in a big city, which doesn't sound like is the case. I think most people use the release from Castin' Craft since Castin' Craft stuff is usually carried by the chain stores...

To figure out if it's definitely the release before you mail order anything, I would a cast without any release to see if that fixes it, making sure to clean the mold first. It'll be more difficult to get it out, but people say that if it gets stuck, sticking it in the freezer for a bit after it's cured makes it pop right out. Also, I wouldn't use any inclusions or pigments to make sure they are not causing the problem by settling to the bottom - i.e. just make a clear cabochon. If it comes out well without surface problems, you can put it back in the mold later and add a layer with fun stuff, so it wouldn't be a waste.
16  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: From the river necklace ^^ EDIT: action pics on: July 29, 2010 08:27:45 AM
I saw this and I thought of your necklace: http://www.lisawalker.de/images/pieces09/5.jpg
Also driftwood, and she also decided to use it with red fiber. Something about this combination that just works...
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Salvaged Bookshelf turned Seuss on: July 24, 2010 08:47:11 AM
Just in case you didn't know, this is amazing Cheesy
18  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: July 21, 2010 10:36:42 AM
JLFB, I don't know if this is a good source for large quantities for epoxy in terms of price since I've never needed large quantities, but Douglas & Sturgess has very good prices on polyester resin, which is what I use when I have a larger project. They also have a lot of "accessories" that are hard to find anywhere else, e.g. fillers. You can find other suppliers of bulk epoxy if you use keywords like "fiberglass" or "marine".

I also prefer to measure by weight (don't know how anybody does it by volume!), but you can do that regardless of whether or not that's how it's designed to be used. Specific gravity (density) is always listed on the MSDS. For Easy Cast, resin is 1.15 gm/mL and hardener is 0.972 gm/mL. Just make sure to keep a calculator handy when measuring stuff out in case you add too much of one and need to figure out how much more of the other you need to add Wink

Out of curiousity, what do you make that requires so much resin?
19  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: From the river necklace ^^ EDIT: action pics on: July 08, 2010 08:44:47 PM
Thanks for the idea, actually you have read my mind, I was planning something like that for the Only-one-stone pendant ^^, Ill show it when I have it... but, you know, now that I have seen it in action, Ireally like the composition of the two stones over the chest... what do you think?

I like it, but TBH, I think it'd be better if it was 3/4 to 1" shorter. It looks funny overlapping the shirt like that, and it looks like it would do it to most shirts that are not super-low-cut. It's hard to figure out what's a good length when you're modeling it on yourself. Also though, it looks much nicer against tan skin than against white background.

What's the cotton cord from? It's not sewing thread, and it doesn't look like embroidery floss (since that's usually shiny and would show off every single defect). Is it crochet thread? The only place I know that sells it, sells it in these gigantic $30 cones...

It looks like it might not be so bad to make. I'll give it a try, I promise, but I've so many other things to do first. Right now, the bane of my (creative) existence is this knob I'm sculpting to match this frame for a necklace organizer I'm making, and it's holding up everything else I want to do. I made the mistake of deciding to make it from modeling clay. So I can't do some work on it, bake, add on, repeat, and file off any imperfections in the end. It must be perfect by the time I make a mold from it, it must. I like how it's coming out, but it's doing it so slowly... aghgh.... .. It seems like every year, I involve myself in some project that turns out to take an insane amount of work, but in the end, not look super amazing or terribly out of the ordinary because I need to do something stupid like make a knob. Last year, it was a headband organizer... Anyway, end rant Cheesy
20  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: July 08, 2010 11:02:57 AM
I don't play with resin or anything but it's always interested me. However the other day something occured to me and I thought maybe I should pass this on to all you resin lovers.

I was taking out my coloured contacts the other day to replace them with a fresh pair... anyone's ever thought about setting those in resin? Obviously ones that have already been used... I think it'll look pretty cool just hanging in the resin. Dunno if the toxicity would break down what the lens is made of.

Just a thought Smiley If anyone can make it work please send me a link! I'd love to see what you come up with  Cheesy

I've actually thought of that, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Since epoxy is inhibited by water, and saline/contact solution is mostly water, the contact has to be dried first. But when it dries, it doesn't stay cup-shaped, and instead, it curls up like crazy. I've tried using cup-shaped supports, and some of the time it worked ok (not perfect, but close enough), but most of them were fail. I might still one day use the ones that came out ok, but I haven't just because it's not really my style, and I was trying to do it mostly just for the hell of it... Still, even after getting the contacts to dry nicely, things can still go wrong because they are so brittle when dry. Anyway, that's just some thoughts.
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