Remember a few weeks ago when we went behind the design of our custom metals and showed you a never-before-seen peek at how they're made? Well, this week we're back again with another post in our "Behind the Design" series, this time featuring our ML xx TP confetti jewelry. Whenever Kelly and Kristen were in the process of designing this collection, they decided that creating jewelry from Thimblepress's signature confetti would be the perfect way to bring both brands together as one and tell the beautiful story of friendship. What you don't know is that the pieces in the confetti collection are hand-made from beginning to end! Today on the blog, we're excited to share with you the story of our the ML xx TP confetti collection is made, as told by Jane. Not only is Jane director of logistics and distribution, she has a thing for crafts and makes each piece in the ML xx TP Confetti collection step-by-step. So, if anyone is the girl to tell this story, it's her! Enjoy!
Step 1. Prepare the Molds
The first thing I do when making resin jewelry is to fill the molds I’m planning to make that day with confetti. This is done in three steps. First, I put in brightly-colored tissue paper if I am making warm or cool pieces, then I add in a pinch of the papery and foiled confetti bits to fill out the mold, and lastly I add a sprinkle of the smallest particles of confetti-the glittery stuff that filters to the bottom of my bin. (I mine deep to get that :)
Step 2. Mix the Resin
If you look closely at the confetti jewelry, it looks as if the confetti is floating in a clear, hard substance. This substance is called resin and it is the base that is used to make each piece. It starts out as a liquid, allowing it to be molded into any shape or size. Once it dries, you're left with a hard fossil-like finished product. I use a two-part epoxy resin that requires precise mixing volumes and time. After I pour the resin into the special mixing cups I use a timer while I completely and thoroughly stir the resin for a minimum of three minutes. If I don’t measure and stir correctly my batch won’t cure properly and I’ll have some beautiful but unusable pieces on my hands.
Step 3. Pouring (aka Drizzling)
After mixing I then drizzle the liquid resin, which has about the same viscosity (and stickiness) of honey, into each mold, being sure to fill mold completely and pushing down any paper or other confetti pieces if they rise to the surface of the resin. Once it is poured, I go back and pop any large bubbles that are on the surface of the resin or at the edge of the mold using a toothpick and heat gun, which helps the bubbles rise up and pop. Molds filled with uncured resin are then placed on a special rack and left to cure overnight.
Step 4. Finishing the Process
When the resin is ready it’s hardened and no longer sticky to the touch. I then pop out the pieces to inspect and cut away any extra resin or papery bits from around the edge or the back that are sharp. At this point I paint each piece with a clear, water-based sealer to make the surface shine...this makes the color pop and the acrylic appear crystal-clear. Once the coating is completely dry I affix the paillettes and ear findings with a strong adhesive and then assemble any styles that are more than one piece of resin.
So... there you have it! Our ML xx TP confetti products are made with lots of love and hard work - well worth it when you see how bright and fun the finished product is!
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Thanks for stopping by!
Moon & Lola