I don't know why spring makes me think of this song- or vice versa.. when I think of this song I think of spring! Either way, it is now spring, and therefore this post exists.
A few months ago I started a mental collection of some of my favorite tools for resin-making. I've had some newbie artists reach out for suggestion, and I love to help, as I loved help when I started. Tips, tricks, and materials aren't my trade secret, so I'm happy to share!
Resin is it's own category.. everything else fits into another category which I will name appropriately when the time comes.
Narrowing down a favorite resin brand/type is actually kind of hard. I use different types for different reasons, and with every version at different price points, it's kind of worth it to have a short list:
Favorite Everyday Resin - Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast
*note: All links included in this blog are just links for your help. I make no money off link or BA codes shared. I just want to help. Clickity-click. That is all.
This is my favorite day-to-day resin. I get the whole 2 gallon option, and I go through it pretty quickly. Day-to-day resin is resin that I'm going to mix paint, glitter, and mica powders into. If I'm trying out a new design, I use this stuff. If I'm pouring more ASL hands, or anything else where having the cleanest clearest resin isn't the most important thing, I use this. Not to say that this gives bubbles - but it can unless you're in the right airspace temperature, or if let the resin sit in a warm bath before you pour it, but I don't. So.
It's also at a fair price point even for the big gallon size, and that matters.
Favorite Super Clear Resin - Unicone Art Clear Casting Liquid
It literally has "liquid" in the title. Having a unicorn in the logo helps, but more specifically on an emotional level.. for me. I love the Unicone resin - it's so light and easy to get such a clear result. It's quite thin, so sometimes I notice when I demold a project where I've only used this kind of resin, it can be a little bendable. However, if I finish it off with a glazing from one of the other resins, it's hard and my problem is solved. With that said, you can also just give it some extra time and it will harden up, too.
Favorite Glazing Resin - Total Boat TableTop Epoxy
When I pour my glaze/dome/top coat, I want to pour it once and know that it will glaze thick and evenly. I don't want to come back mid-dry and see that it dripped down so quickly that I need an entire second coat. Now everyone is making their own art their own way. My goals may not be your goals - but if you've run into this aggravation as well, I suggest you try some of this resin. It's super thick, and the process of hand mixing will probably tire your arm muscles a little. You'll have to wait a little longer for the bubbles to lessen, and you won't have as much time as the other resins to add mix-ins and work with it before it wants to start setting, but since I'm mostly using this for a top coat anyway, and I don't need much or any mix-ins, its worth it.
Favorite Food Safe Resin - Art Resin
I love cheese. Like I really really love cheese. Why is this important? Because charcuterie boards have been a part of my life, for so much of my life. Charcuterie boards aren't just for an appetizer or fancy event occasion - it could literally be dinner itself. Okay, Aliya, this isn't a cheese post - I can do one of those later. This is a resin post. So naturally, being so obsessed with cheese, I had to make some cheese boards for gifts for my family and friends! When I started thinking about making said boards with resin, I really wanted to find an option so that people could put food directly on the boards - that was super important, because imo what's even the point otherwise. Luckily I found Art Resin, which is certified food safe (when dry... obviously. Please don't lick the wet resin)!
Now, my point of purchasing different resin is important and goes back to what I said in the beginning. All these resins are at different price points: Art Resin costs as much for 1 gallon as Alumilite costs for 2 gallons. So I'm not going to pour everyday things with the Art Resin, otherwise I'll cost myself more than I need to. But Alumilite isn't going to give me that food safe result that I need for some of my creations. Just keep that all in mind when you're selecting your resins!
Like I said: this category would be named appropriately.
Favorite Safety Mask Respirator - 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300 with 3M 2091 P100 Particulate Filters
Safety is good. I don't actually have experience with other respirator face masks to compare this one to, but I asked a bunch of other artists on their suggestions and a lot of them pointed to this one. I agree with that decision, as well. I'm particular about heavy things on me, especially my breathing space, and this is really lightweight. It's a great mask for resin working, Dremel using, and other events where tiny microscopic bits of plastic may be accidentally inhaled and work negatively with my lungs and asthma that I already have.
Favorite Glitter Mix-in - Paradise Glitter
(this was my last haul)
Okay so it's glitter, and I know a lot of people sell glitter. I'm just going to get the small shops versus the art stores question out of the way first: Art store glitter isn't as fine and nice, with a mix of little bits and great coverage and weight - as the glitters put together by smaller shops are. I don't know the science behind it, but it took me a while to realize it, and if you don't believe me, you don't have to.
BUT if you're looking for great high quality glitters that are not only look great, but are also a great price, and you get SO MUCH for that price - go to Paradise Glitter. Also give yourself 15% off your first purchase with my BA code: ASSPARKLES15
Favorite Clean Up Tool - Unicone Magical Resin Remover
This. Stuff. Is. So. Magical.
It took everything I had to not jump right into talking about it before the resin. Are you messy? Are you mostly clean but somewhat messy? Are you never messy but just lying to yourself? Unless you have some magical skill of NEVER getting resin on yourself, you probably definitely want this stuff. Now don't get me wrong. In a pinch, or not-a-pinch-you-just-havent-discovered-this-stuff-yet you can get wet resin off your skin with a bit of rubbing alcohol. But after doing that time and time again you know it's making your skin dry. The Unicone Magical Resin Remover is a gel cleaner "for hands".. though in my case it's a magical gel cleaner for every part of my body. Please don't ask how I've gotten some on my thighs, forearms, and face - it happens and I definitely fall into the category of a messy artist! Did I mention that in addition to magical resin remover, it's also hydrating?! It's great for my sensitive skin, and it's all natural ingredients. So seriously - go grab some.
These are my top faves right now. And now that've I've finally made a tangible list, I can start thinking about more of my other favorite things I love when doing my art.
What are your favorite tools for working with resin? Got anything you need me to add to this list? Let me know!