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I recently expanded my repertoire into resins and the choice is clear, ArtResin.Art Resin bottles

I am hooked…luckily we have it readily available here in Hawaii through Fiberglass Hawaii. Many years ago I worked with fiberglass and casting resins with the catalyst drops, mostly for craft or repair work and never considered using it for my art. My work with encaustics (a mixture of beeswax, dammar and pigments) allowed me to get a flow-y and layered look… and now I am able to achieve something similar and further my potential by not having to be so cautious about damaging previous layers and having an end product that is more durable. ArtResin allows me to use a variety of mediums and pigments and incorporate items such as gold leaf and coconut tree fiber, which is different from other resins I’ve used in the past.

I love the fact that it is a relatively clean medium to work with, “ArtResin is certified non-toxic (when used as directed) so it’s not bad for your health like other resins. No VOCs. No fumes. No solvents. No respirator needed. Non-flammable. Non-hazardous. Conforms to ASTM D4236 (Safe for Home Use)”.  It is also beautifully clear, “ArtResin is chemically engineered to offer the most efficient yellowing protection on the market. Its advanced stabilization additives provide superior clarity for long-term non-yellowing performance”. The 1 to 1 ratio is easy to work with and they have very handy coverage calculator on their website – The website also contains an abundance of information.

Resin paintings with levelPrepping is key before you measure and mix. You need to start with a level surface. It is still sticky and messy… here is a list of my essentials: lots of newspaper, plastic cups, stirrers, gloves, spreaders, tweezers, small butane torch, lighter, pigments or colorants, box or plastic bin that is larger than the work (necessary to keep out dust and other particles especially when you have a large dog like I do), 80 grit sandpaper to sand each previous layer after hardening for better adhesion when pouring another layer. I use cradled wooden panels that support the weight of multiple layers of resin, but stretched canvas is another option for small works, larger works on canvas will need to be supported, they will sag otherwise. Lots of masking tape to prep the panels and often more in between the different layers.

The actually mixing is easy: equal parts of both the resin and the hardener, stir for at least three minutes, I stir longer for bigger batches.

Blue Summer Fronds - Pati O'Neal

Blue Summer Fronds – Pati O’Neal

Separate out smaller amounts to mix with different pigments and powders. This part has and still is an experimental thing with me as I found that even different colors of the same medium type will change the viscosity and hardening time. (ArtResin does have its own line of pigments to help with the predictability.) The average time for work-ability is 45 minutes, which may seem like a long time, but when working with larger panels, it gets to be a challenge. After you spread/pour/manipulate the resin, use the torch to get rid of the bubbles, always moving quickly over the surface to create that glassy surface. Pick out any debris that might have fallen onto the surface and torch again if necessary. Then cover carefully. In about 12 hours it will be hardened but still a little tacky, in about 24 hours it will be mostly cured with final curing by 72 hours. Aside from the creative aspect and manipulation, working with ArtResin has been a breeze and I’m looking forward to more…

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