Sometimes in the process of making, learning happens in leaps and bounds. That’s kind of what I’m experiencing right now since I’m making SO MANY of the resin squares. Let’s start at the very beginning, which is filled with learning experiences (read: disasters).
I took my beautiful wooden study table (the only place I had to work in the house) and laid out layers of plastic sheeting. I created my silicone tubing boundaries on the plastic and began pouring resin.
Enter Mistake 1: Though the windows were open working indoors meant the pungent smell got overpowering since I was making 10 squares at a time.
Mistake 2: I hadn’t really read up on the safety requirements and I hate wearing gloves so my hands were covered in cuts and resin. Scary.
Mistake 3: The silicone would sometimes detach from the plastic causing a sticky waterfall to cascade over the desk onto the floor. Gee. Thanks for nothing silicone.
The end of the beginning: the hazards left me feeling nauseous, headachy, dazed and ill until Jonathan’s email snapped me awake and I started reading up on safety procedures. I got myself a filtered face mask, disposable gloves and moved the whole set up outdoors. Yes, the heat was bad but I could work in the evenings since the resin had to be left overnight anyway. And guess what? Thanks to the warmth, the resin actually set better! Of course, being in Jeddah meant sandstorms could destroy or at the very least sprinkle sand all over my resin…. but isn’t that kind of cool? Bringing Jeddah sand to London in July!
Everything was proceeding super smoothly. I kind of became a pro resin mixer. Got 12 squares in no time flat 😀 The challenge? Each square was SO DIFFERENT. Sometimes it bummed me out that I couldn’t get consistency in their appearance. And the most annoying thing so far? The moodiness of the silicone tubing! If the mould moved even an inch as I extracted the square the next square wouldn’t set, and would flow all over the table. And I couldn’t even remove it! I had to watch in agony as it pooled around all the other squares and wait all night till I could throw it out and save the rest of the squares. Ugh.
So I began to reinforce the silicone before every pour. Something still felt slow and clumsy about this process though I couldn’t put my finger on it…
Today I ran out of resin as one is bound to when pouring tons of it over a poor wooden table. So I went to the Jarir Bookstore website to see which outlet had some, an outlet I had not yet raided. While there, it occurred to me to check whether they had silicone measuring cups, because that would make measuring the resin so much easier! Their website couldn’t help me out with that and the only answer it turned up was ‘Silicon mould putty/rubber’. My mind screeched to a halt. Then I had a duh moment. And then I felt like beating myself up.
WHY USE SILICONE TUBING? WHY? Omg I could have used silicone putty to make the perfect little gorgeous molds and poured my resin into them!!!!!!!!! I would have had 49 perfect little squares! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……
I’m going to learn how silicone putty/rubber works. If it seems to match what I’m trying to do and is not too expensive, Imma get some and try it out. Will I still keep working with silicone tubing? Yes, because I think there is a certain charm to the minor differences in the squares. Not to mention the tubing is dirt cheap. But for the future? Ease of use outweighs cheapness and Silicone putty will probably be the way to go. *sigh*
update: and of course, Jarir bookstore is out of stock -_-
update 2: they do have silicone paste tho!! I can use that around one of my existing resin squares to make more resin squares. muhahahahahhhahaha.