Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Making resin rough cut diamonds and sapphires.

I am about to make a necklace using lots of the papier-mache baroque pearls that I make - 
To which I will add some faux - that is made with epoxy resin - rough cut gems - I add acrylic ink to get the right colours. I spotted this necklace and thought I could develop the idea -
These are faceted beads, I tend to prefer the rough cut ones. I am starting with faux rough cut diamonds and papier-mache baroque pearls and may well work my way through the mineral kingdom!
they look like this -
Some papier-mache baroque pearls could also have colour added to resemble these -
rough cut raw sapphires are like this and papier-mache 
pearls below. I think it could work with a few adjustments. Below is the real thing - uncut sapphires.

And here are the prototypes for the sapphire molds - just simple pieces of gravel.

So first things first - I pondered how to make the actual shapes of the resin 'diamonds' and 'sapphires' for a moment or two and then realized that there was plenty of gravel outside my studio - I could make molds from that. I chose some different sizes and washed them in a plastic cup with washing up liquid, shaking vigorously. 
It would probably be better to pop them in the cutlery holder in a dishwasher, alas an appliance I don't have in my studio, in fact there's only just enough room for me and I still haven't got everything in yet. Need more shelves.
Stones now washed and dried. I work on tiles or sheets of glass as a rule when doing things like this. There are extensive renovations being done here at Seale Hayne. The old student accommodation from the days when Seale Hayne was an agricultural college is being improved to make comfortable rooms for guests and for people coming to do workshops here. As a result there are plenty of off cuts of tiles in the skip!
I use a two part epoxy molding paste called Silligum to make my molds. The process involves mixing blue and white together.           
You have to work quite quickly as the mixed paste cures within 4 minutes. It will then remain usable and flexible almost indefinitely. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Hillary,
I really enjoyed your rough diamond making video. Were you ever able to perfect the process?? I am anxious to see and interested in acquiring a bag of them, if you will.

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