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Book Club: Explore, Create, Resinate


It's time for our March Book Club!  Just as a reminder, each month I choose a crafty book from my bookshelf and create something inspired by the book.   I hope you'll be inspired to do the same.

This month I chose Explore, Create, Resinate by Jen Cushman.

This book is all about using ICE Resin -- a crystal clear jeweler's grade resin -- to create beautiful jewelry.  The book has nine major chapters along with an introduction, final note, design team bios, and a resource guide.  The nine chapters are:

  1. What Makes ICE Resin Unique: An explanation of why ICE Resin is different from the other resins on the market.  ICE Resin is more expensive than some of the other resins that are around, so this is definitely worth a read.
  2. Mixing and Pouring: I'm an instruction skimmer for the most part, but ICE Resin is a chemical compound and it's important to make sure you mix it correctly in order to get the results you want.  There are lots of step-by-step photos on mixing and pouring -- with plenty of tips on how to get the best results.  I love the tip on using a sponge as a base when pouring an uneven surface -- so simple and so smart!  This chapter also includes information on drying and curing.
  3. Embedding and Inclusions: This chapter includes tips on how to embed various things into your ICE Resin.  Jen notes what types of items need to be sealed and which ones can simply be placed in.
  4. Using Photographs and Sealing Images: This is a short chapter that explains how to seal your images before placing them in ICE Resin.
  5. Working with Open Backed Bezels: As the title suggests, this chapter details (with photos and instructions) how to work with an open backed bezel.  As you'll see below, I used open backed bezels to create a pair of earrings.
  6. Adding Color: Jen shares tips on how to quickly and easily color your ICE Resin.
  7. Making Resin Paper: Over the years I've tried lots of different techniques for turning paper into jewelry.  Nothing works as well as ICE Resin.  The way it reacts with the paper, it more than seals it -- it creates a waterproof product that can easily be turned into wearable art!  This chapter tells you how to make that awesome resin paper.
  8. Quick and Easy Casting: In this chapter Jen shares how to make your own molds to use with ICE Resin.
  9. Clean Up, Over Spills and Mistakes: Jen shares how easy it is to file, sand, and clean up any problems you may have encountered along the way.

This book is filled with beautiful photos -- both step-by-step instructions for the various techniques and many beautiful examples of finsihed jewelry using the techniques from each chapter.  However, there aren't instructions for creating finished jewlery.  This is definitely a technique book, not a project book.  I actually prefer technique books to project books, so I was quite happy. That said, I should mention that I have previous experience with jewelry-making and using Ice Resin, including having taken classes with Ice Resin inventor Susan Lenart Kazmer.  Nonetheless, I think the instructions on working with ICE Resin are very clear.

I only had 1 oz of ICE Resin in my stash.  So, I had to be a bit thoughtful about what I did with it.  (And I ended up ordering more in much bigger bottles, because it's so fun!  And now I'm stalking the postman!)  I decided to create some resined papers:

A plain book page (facing into my apartment and out at the window):

You can see how super transparent the paper is now!

A gesso-ed and Distress Inked book page (facing into my apartment and out at the window):

You can see that it's transparent where the Distress Ink is and opaque where the gesso is.

A painted book page (facing into my apartment and out at the window):

Mostly opaque, except when held up to the light.  Other than being sealed and glossy, appears exactly as it did without the ICE Resin.

Painted deli paper (facing into my apartment and out at the window):

Other than the fact that it's sealed and glossy, it doesn't appear any different from regular deli paper.

Finally, I grabbed my jewelry tools...

...and made two open backed bezels.  Then I used bits of a doily to create these earrings:

And here I am wearing the earrings:

I love them!  And I can't wait for the rest of my ICE Resin to get here so I can make many more!

If you're interested in exploring ICE Resin, I highly recommend Explore, Create, Resinate.  However, if you've never made jewelry, you may want to check out some basics of wire wrapping and cold connections to help you make finished jewelry.

Have you read Explore, Create, Resinate?  What did you think?

Thanks for stopping by!