I was inspired by the beautiful jewelry of Britta Boeckmann and the amazing glowing resin shelves of Mat Brown. I wanted to combine the two for a one-of-a-kind gift this Christmas!
The Initial Sketch
Building the Resin CastBegan laser cutting acrylic pieces to create a box for casting the resin. Hot glue held the cast together and kept the wood down. If I were to do this again, I would tab the pieces instead of making them straight-edged and skip hot gluing the wood down - the hot glue created pockets of resin underneath the wood that took a lot of sanding to level out and a weight on top while pouring the resin should suffice.
Crystal Resin & Triple-Glow PowderThis powder colors the resin beautifully and fluoresces very bright after absorbing sunlight. I loved the idea of a bright blue and natural oak contrast!
Preparing for the 2nd PourMy initial pour wasn't quite high enough, so I had to make a second batch of the resin. Ideally, this would've been done in a single pour. I also accidentally spilled some resin on the oak and it came out beautifully both visually and texture-wise; perhaps there is some way to purposefully get that final glaze look after shaping.
Releasing the Resin CastUsed a hammer & chisel to gently break the resin out of its cast. You can see the separation caused by the two individual resin pours.
Shaping the PiecesAt this point, I decided to create multiple pieces! Tried out a few different designs, and began experimenting different ways to shape it. This was an incredibly difficult and tedious trial-and-error exploration, and I learned a lot throughout the process.
Leveling the Casted PieceThere was a cloudy layer of resin residue on the underside of the casted piece that I decided to remove. Used very low grit sandpaper on a random orbital sander to achieve this.
Shaping the Pieces IIAfter sanding, it was a lot easier to mark up the pieces, so I finalized the shapes I wanted to make. Using the jigsaw on small pieces that were clamped snapped a piece or two (as pictured) so I decided to instead get the basic shape through a handsaw instead. Thanks to wood glue, I was able to salvage the broken pieces!
Shaping the Pieces IIIAfter cutting the pieces, I used a Dremel to get the shape I was roughly aiming for and an orbital finishing sander to get the smooth curved edges I desired!
Finished Shaping the PiecesI was very satisfied with the final shapes - time for polishing!
Drilling the HolesUsed a drill press to make holes for the chords & eye bails.
Cleaning Up the Drill HolesRe-sanded the pieces to remove the marks for positioning the holes.
Sanding & PolishingI began exploring different ways to sand and gloss the resin. I used a micro-mesh sanding kit to get it as smooth as I could by hand, and then coated it in a layer of boiled linseed oil. Hung in my closet to dry!
Sanding & Polishing IIThe resin was incredibly hard to buff to my ideal standard with my given tool set. I explored with using the Novus scratch remover #3, #2, and #1. Covered the wood portion in tape to protect it!
Final CoatingsI wanted to coat as many layers of the boiled linseed oil as I could to protect and darken the oak.
Presentation, Packaging, & Hot ChocolateStrung the necklaces with wax chord, chord ends, and a lobster clasp. To give the boxes more volume, I stuffed the boxes with tissues and cut slits to hide the chord. Shout out to my little brother, Kevin, for helping me with this! After finishing, we treated ourselves to some nice, hot chocolate!
The Full SetCreated from a single piece of wood, I decided to name each piece and write a special message for each piece. From the bottom, counter-clockwise: 'Harmony', 'Smile', 'Teardrop', 'Love', and 'Inverted Ice Cream Cone'!
Day & NightHere are the pieces in the sun and in pitch darkness :)