Resin art: how to avoid the most common mistakes - Sydney Community College

Resin art: how to avoid the most common mistakes

Sydney Community College Blog | by Claire Pickard on 6 April 2021 Resin art - it’s abstract, colourful, dramatic, and a great way for people to create impressive artworks, homewares and jewellery without the need for drawing, painting or sculpting ability. But there's so much more to this art form than just mixing, pouring and standing back. Here are six ways to avoid the most common mistakes.

Woman holds a piece of wave-patterned resin art

1. Invest in good quality materials

There is a wide range of resin art products, and you do get what you pay for with some brands. If you buy from a specialist supplier, you can be confident your product will come with all-important accurate instructions and will flow, cure and maintain good colour and finish. Online resin chat forums are full of comments about online ordered materials that arrive with instructions in only one language (not theirs) or with no safety information. And it is not just the pigments and resin – what you pour it onto will also affect the final result, so make sure you invest in a good quality board as well.

2. Use the right resin at the right ratios

Different types of pigment and resin have different densities, so they will flow and behave differently. Do your homework to match the resin to the technique you want to use, and the surface you are working on. It is not a one size fits all arrangement here folks, you need to be sure your measurements are exact. The amount of part A (the resin) to part B (the catalyst) must be exact to ensure a full cure (set). Get this wrong and your project may not cure correctly (or at all).

Person preparing resin to pour

3. Choose your space wisely

Temperature, humidity and other conditions will affect resin drying time. You will need a workspace with good lighting and ventilation, that is not too dusty, and that can be left undisturbed while your work is curing. Your workbench should be completely flat (get out that spirit level!) because the resin is self-levelling. You will also want to be able to close the door on the fumes while your project cures – and avoid any little accidents, like touching the surface before it’s dry.

4. Get the conditions right

Resin and water are not compatible - so if it is humid or raining, it is best to leave your resin project for another day. Likewise, your resin will be happier when the temperature is warmer.

5. Safety first

Always use appropriate PPE. You should use a half-face or full-face respirator with an organic vapour cartridge. Hands should be protected with nitrile gloves – not only are they better for anyone with latex allergy, but they are also chemical and puncture-resistant. Keep kids and pets away from resin at all times and remember to cover your work surface!

6. Go with the flow

Resin art is a freeform technique – it's all about the movement and flow of the medium, and no two artworks can ever be the same. As College Resin Art tutor Monika Pawsey says, “it’s about accepting the unpredictability... about not having firm ideas on what your end result will look like.” This is part of the joy of working with this medium.

Person pouring resin into a mold
Resin art may appear stunningly simple (and a lot of fun) in YouTube instructionals but it’s an intriguing mix of art meets chemistry. As you learn the science and the setup, master the basics of colour theory and composition, you can find yourself on a habit-forming creative journey.
Two reddy-pink geode resin pieces with streaks of gold
Resin classes are some of Sydney Community College’s most popular art programs. Join us to learn how to make your own impressive artworks, with our Resin Art Workshop; take inspiration from the world of crystals and rock with Geode Resin Art. You can make durable homewares such as a Resin Cheeseboard & Coasters or your own wearable art with Resin Jewellery.

Resin Art Short Courses

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