Sly Pony jewellery is all hand made from resin and metallic leaf. Creating something from resin is a process with a lot of steps - it's now so natural to me I forget that even I had absolutely no idea how resin was made before I began. Want to see the process? Let's get stuck in to how our SuperFancy Black Crescent Drops are made!
The first step actually takes place before resin is involved - creating molds from silicone. Sometimes I use commercially available molds, but I prefer to create my own. That means Sly Pony pieces are absolutely unique! To create molds, I pour liquid silicone around my original shapes, wait for it to set, and then I have a mold. Like making jelly in reverse.
Next step: materials. For each piece I need:
- Silicone mold
- Resin + hardener
- Coloured dyes
- Gold, silver and copper metallic leaf
- Mixing cups
- Mixing stick
Next step is mixing the resin and hardener together. Sly Pony resin is an 'eco' resin - it's a low VOC, low toxicity epoxy resin. The resin is made from sustainably grown pine plantation oil and recycled vegetable oil, which I then have to mix with a chemical hardener. This means it gives off very few odors / fumes when it's being mixed together (it's actually just a slightly herbal scent!), I don't need to wear a respirator mask, and only wear gloves for safety.
Once the resin is fully mixed together, I add dye and metallic leaf. Then I just have to wait for all the bubbles to rise, and it's ready to pour!
After the resin is mixed and the bubbles have risen, it's very runny (almost as runny as water). This makes it easy to pour into my molds. On a hot day the resin starts setting very quickly, and in cold weather it is very slow to mix together. The resin heats up as it sets (an exothermic reaction), which is helped by sunny weather! Each Sly Pony piece is made differently. Our Crescent Drop Studs require 6 pieces of resin, so I have to be really careful to make the correct amount of each shape. Math!
Our resin takes around 2 days to set, which is when I can take the pieces out of the mold. This is the fun part, as every time the pieces are unique! Some days I might crumble the metallic leaf really tiny, other days it stays quite large. Always different! I then leave the resin pieces another 2-3 days to cure (fully set and harden). Then it's sanding time. It's almost impossible to pour resin 100% perfectly, so each piece of resin always needs a bit of sanding to get rid of any jagged edges. After this, I attach the stud posts to the back of the resin and let them set.
Still going! Next up is drilling the tiny holes that the jump rings will sit in. This part requires patience and a steady hand. I use my tiny Dremel drill - this has been discontinued and I'm looking for a secondhand one! Like anyone that works with tools I have my favourites, and like to keep them in the same spot in my studio so I know exactly what I'm doing.
The final step is assembling the earrings. I match up each pair, then open my jump rings, pop them into the holes I've drilled, then a quick twist and the earrings are finished! You can find these SuperFancy Black Crescent Drops here.
Follow along on Instagram or Facebook to see more peeks into the studio, and let me know if you have any questions!