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Resin Jewelry

Hi there!

I am interested in making simple rings-bands with sterling bezels
inserting photos, paper, etc. and applying a clear resin to fill the
space that would normally be set with a stone. I am also interested
in methods/products to color resin. I would appreciate any info on
this and sources for products. Is Devcon 2-ton epoxy resin applicable
in this case? How does one apply color. Any info is much appreciated.


Susan , I took a workshop in Resin and we used powdered artists
pigments to color the epoxy. These are the same powders that are used
to make your own oil paints, available in serious art supply stores.
They come in small bottles, and a little goes a long way. I think we
used Devcon 20 minute epoxy. Good luck, Jan

Hi Susan! I do quite a bit of Resin Inlay, so here goes. First I
suggest you make up some samples of color. Use a large piece of
Bristol Board (heavy white paper) and 5 minute Devcon epoxy. Take
EQUAL amounts of the hardner and resin and mix the two together with
a toothpick. You only need a short blob for each. Mix it slowly, and
try not to make bubbles. They will come, but rapid mixing will create

Mix in some paint pigment or enamel. Keep loading the color until
the resin takes about five seconds to settle. Then you know you have
enough. Watch for bubbles that rise to the surface. Get a pin ready
and start popping the bubbles.

The great thing about resin inlay is that you can use anything.
It’s a process that takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime of play
and exploration.

After you have madea few samples, try one in a bezel cup. Solder a
piece of bezel wire with easy solder inside the cup. Load some
color, stay with the five minute. Wait until it cures. This takes
about 20 min to be sure.

Five Minute Epoxy means you have five minutes of working time. 30
Min Epoxy, means you have 30 minutes of working time, NOT that it
will cure in 5 or 30 minutes.

Very important, when packing in a bezel, try not to overload the
expoxy. You will spend extra time grinding the stuff down. And it
is EPOXY which means it is HARD.

Flip the piece over and start on 80 grit sandpaper, WET. Move to
320, 400 and 600. For photos, you will need finer grits. There are
a series of very fine sandpapers used to sand scratches from plastic.
Can’t think of them off the top of my head, but they work well.

You will notice that when you sand down your bezel with the wire,
you now get a nice LINE QUALITY from the silver. By varying the with
of your bezel and your wire, you can create shadow and depth.

You may get a pit while sanding. This is normal and is created when
a bubble was not located and popped. Just fill it in again with the
same color and it will blend perfectly.

One note on the 20 ton. Get the bottles of epoxy, NOT THE TUBES.
The bottles allow equal portioning. The tubes can get a bubble and
dispense equally. However, you can saw them in half with a jewelers
saw. Have Fun!

School for the Jewelry and Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451

Susanna, There is a book written just for you! Called “Resin
Jewelry” by Kathie Murphy - ISBN # 0-87349-619-1 (2002) Best and only
one on the subject that I know of.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School

Susanna Rio Grande offers several epoxy types that will fill your
bill exactly, they market a material called Colores which is on page
662-663 of their findings and gems catalog and the also have a system
called Durenamel both can be mixed with colored resins and both use
the same resins just different hardeners, I use them quite often for
various things including as a substitute for enamel, if done
properly it’s difficult to tell the difference you can grind and
polish the Durenamel but not the Colores which is softer.

Good luck and I hope this helps solve your problems

Usual caveat!! No connection with the company, just another
satisfied customer for many years

Kenneth Ferrell

Hi Susan & Karen Just a quick additional bit of info. After pouring
the resin, if you use a tiny torch, not too close, all your bubbles
will burst! Come back 10 min. later and do it again, they keep on
rising untill the resin stiffens too much. Have a look in hobby shops
where they have the bottles that will not yellow over time. I think
they are mostly used for decoupage finishes.

Good luck! Cheers from Oz,


Dear Karen, Thank you, thank you, thank you! After sanding, do I need
to polish? I am a beginning jeweler and have been using the small 3M
polishing discs. Would these work on resin?

Best regards,
Susanna Ramos

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not use a flame near the resin in its
liquid or hardened state unless we are to read about you in the shop
injuries thread. Resin is HIGHLY flammable and does so in an
incredibly quick second with an incredibly intense heat. Better to
create a curing box from a discarded copy paper box. 20 dollar
clamp light fixture(the silver colored hard ware store variety), 8
dollar heat lamp bulb. 3 dollars worth of aluminum foil to cover the
box. 5-10 dollars for meat thermometer.

1 upend copy paper box so that it is standing on end opening facing

2 cut an opening in the top end sufficient to accommodate the clamp

3 line box, lid and opening with aluminum foil

4 set box in lined lid, clamp light above opening in box and entire
set up in a draft less as possible, well ventilated area.

5 turn light on and allow to come to temp …approximately 10min best
to measure with a meat thermometer but one can sort of fudge it by
trial and error

6 use meat thermometer to determine level of heat 100-200 good for
keeping resin warm while working with it, and predebubbling, then
start in the 100-200 area moving resin forward a little at a time
into the 350-400 max(depending on the resin) until it is hard. This
will give one great debubbleizing, and hardening acceleration without
risking the flash fire which can result from torch and
resin…Shiver Shiver Shiver Please do not use the torch near

Rene Who learned all her resin stuff by fooling around with it under
the patient and watchful eye of Betty Heald, one terrific artist and
teacher at MICA(Maryland institute college of art)


Do all your polishing prior to filling. Sorry I omitted that. The
small 3M polishing wheels will just muck up the resin, but honestly,
it very much depends on what kind of look you want. Personally, I
like a matt finish. The shiny acrylic finish looks too fake to me.
I go for textures and colors. My tea leaves are filled with real
tea. My fish are filled with sand, dried seaweed which I have
collected or others have collected for me.

There is a bridal market, wedding rings, engagement rings, special
silver charms for the bride’s maids, etc. Mine is the honeymoon
market. The newlyweds travel to some exotic place and bring back
some dried flowers, leaves, sand, earth, whatever. I make a custom
piece with all the elements. I also do buttons for men’s jackets.
They look great.

Have fun!
School for the Jewelry and Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451

Hi Maggie and Susan:

If you don’t want to use a torch, a heat gun works very well.
Devcon 20 min is the epoxy of choice. The colors do not shift very
much at all. But for your samples, the 5 minute works great.

Have fun!

School for the Jewelry and Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451

Hi Susan,

The davcon 5 and 30 min are great for small applications or if you
are trying to use them like layers of pain on 3-d surfaces. I have
used a number of things to color the resins but the stuff that works
best are polyester dyes can be found in most hobby shops like
Michaels. Low viscosity acrylic paint, water color pigments(the good
stuff in the tubes) and prisma color pencils ground up fine. Fool
around with the material to see what you like best. I use unlined
3x5 cards to keep track of my experiments. Two things to remember
you will have to finish the epoxy just like you finish metal(sanding
and polishing) and the work times for the 5 min is about 4.25 min and
the 30 is about 29 to 29.5 towards the end of the work time they both
get stringing and tough and you will get alot of bubbles if you try
to push it. Have fun I love the stuff


Hi Rene Been following the thread on resins. You all seem to be
recommending Davcon, is that very different from Araldite? That’s the
one that’s most common over here ( New Zealand). I’ve found that
araldite cant be polished, but you say the stuff you use can be. Is
it different stuff, or am I doing something wrong?


Hi, I have only followed this thread lightly, so I am not sure if
this has been said yet, but … please remember to use ventilation
when working with epoxy. Especially if you are heating it! It looks
so benign with all the pretty colors in it, but epoxy is one of the
most damaging materials we use. And it doesn’t take years and years
to see the damage. I really regret the casual way I used to work
with this material. And this from someone who uses fluoride fluxe on
a daily basis! Karin

for what its worth. I tried running my epoxy and poly-esters through
the vacuum caster and pulled a light vacuum , but stopped if it
looked like it was running over and then started it again. Usually
twice took all of the air and bubble out and it seems to set and up
and look more "clear"when it hardens. It may be all worn, but it
works for me.

Hi Ian, I tried Araldite myself, but stopped because it yellows over
time, the 5 min stuff is the worst. And… I agree, ventilation is
of vital importance, specially when using the heat.

Cheers from Oz,

Hello everyone,

I too have just started using (epoxy) resin, and after Irene’s
warning took Karen’s advice and purchased a heat gun. I’m heat-curing
my resin in an electric skillet, and am having some bubble trouble so
am turning it over to Orchid in the hopes of help.

  1. I’m filling resin in silver on top of prints from my ink jet
    printer. To get the prints to stay put I’m adhering them with elmer’s
    glue, but still seem to be getting some air under the prints that is
    then bubbling up the sides. Can anyone suggest a better adhesive that
    is both ink jet printer paper & resin-friendly? I tried sealing the
    paper completely with the elmer’s/elmer’s and water mixture, as per.
    suggestion from my epoxy guy at RBC, but the moisture in the glue
    caused the ink to run, so I’m stuck simply gluing from behind and
    then pouring the epoxy directly on the print. Do I need to switch to
    a laser printer so I can seal the prints with the elmer’s?

  2. Once the resin starts to kick (after 1 hour) I turn my electric
    skillet up to ‘warm’, which is around 100 degrees F. Then every 10
    minutes I check for bubbles, and gently wave the heat gun over any I
    find. Usually this does a perfect job, but sometimes it merely causes
    endless more bubbles to form. I’m wondering if that’s a result of air
    being trapped under the print in step 1, which is why I asked about
    better adhesive/sealant recommendations…

  3. After an hour of heat I turn the skillet up to 200 degrees F. I
    continue to check for bubbles every 10 minutes, but sometimes a
    bubble will indeed form in those 10 minutes and since the resin is
    now halfway cured the heat gun trick no longer works; by the time I
    see the bubble it is too late to pop it because it’s already
    permanently set. Help! I can’t check it every minute for the whole
    hour…how can I prevent this problem?

Thank you in advance for any guidance…it’s getting so frustrating!

-Jessica in wet wet wet SF.

Wow, it just goes to show that when one thinks she is lone soldier
out of the floor boards come the epoxy people. Jessica which RBC
resin and hardener are you using? Maybe you need a different one.
Although the people at RBC are most helpful. The other thing you may
try is to use a thin piece of metal as a tool like a pastry scraper.
Use 5 min davcon put thin layer on substrate, apply ink jet image and
use pastry scraper tool to “de bubble”.(never tried it myself just
muddling through here) I dunno but maybe even one of those rollers
printers use may help.I think that Williams Sonoma even makes a
silicone pastry scraper which epoxy can be pulled off of when it
dries. I have heard of the electric skillet technique but have much
better luck with the curing box method. Also if you have a 60 min
work time you may want to try warming the resin and hardener prior
to mixing. in my opinion warm resin/hardener mix better and are less
prone to bubbles