Introduction: Aluminum & Resin Rainbow Nebula
Like staring into the Galaxy far far away.
I find myself incandescently happy creating these fractal fineries. Slated for Jewelry yet suitable for so many things. The clean sophisticated surroundings of metal with thin Dichroic looking film that has been altered to resemble what I can only imagine is a rainbow nebula. I searched for some time to find metal pieces, preferably aluminum that I could nest tiny textures in. Then out of the blue I see metal tile at the home improvement store. Could this be it, the very frame I was looking for. You bet!!
Time to hitch a ride and create finery suitable for an epic adventure.
Step 1: Cosmic Goodies !
Aluminum backsplash tile
2 part casting resin ( Liquid Diamonds)
Vice or clamp
Saw( for cutting aluminum)
Grinder( helpful if doing lots of pieces)
Mixing cups,spoons,cups ( for mixing and despensing resin)
Rotary tool ( for grinding and sanding)
Sand paper or finger nail files ( various grits)
Microfiber cloth or old t-shirt
Other metal pieces for decorations if desired plus jewelry making supplies(glue on bail)
Protective wear and safe place to work
Step 2: Prepping the Tile
Remove the tile from backing material.
Use the rotary tool or nail files to sand off glue. Now decide if you want the plain metal as a background or painted. I painted mine black and white with spray paint (nothing special just what I had from other projects)
Let them dry while you prepare the Angelina film.
Step 3: Rainbow Nebula Here We Come.
There are 19 colors of the film I use.
These are not just cello film from gift wrap section. The Angelina is a heat bond-able thermofilm, that will not only change color when heat is applied but can be textured. It reminds me of bismuth and rainbow anodized metal. I can tell you, once you get it in your hands you won’t want to put it down, it is remarkable stuff.
I cut pieces and apply different amounts of heat, stretch, pull, fold, crinkle, layer, paint you name it it’s done. You can spray paint the film to intensify the colors on one side. Let dry or cool.
Step 4: Getting Groovy and Sizing It Up!
Now that the track is ready, Angelina is ready.
It is time to form it into the track. Keep in mind packing tape will be flush across the face so keep all your film below the surface of the track. Unless you want it to be that way.
I lay the track on top to making sizing a bit easier, but really you can just plug the film in till you get the look you are going for.
Just a note: If pieces are short, use a little lighter to singe the ends when you layer, makes the pieces look like they belong together.
Use your imagination, don’t like it change it. Once the resin is poured, really no going back ,but always usable.
Step 5: Tape It Up!
This takes a little time but better to do it right then to lose lots of resin.
This is just packing tape, lay out a strip and place one open edge at the end of the tape face down.
Note: If your pieces move around do it facing up, otherwise the tape will stick to your film and resin can’t cover it.
Fold the sides up and press down when you get to the other end just flip up and back on to the rest of the tape strip. Press all edges firmly to insure a good seal. You can add more tape around if you feel like it will leak. Finish all of them.
Let’s move on.
Step 6: Resin Baby!!
Follow, follow, follow your resins instructions.
This is very important. Resins are very picky, like great soufflé. Temperature, moisture and mixing are the top three reasons resin has problems. So, test before you take on any project that is slated for something special. And leave your fears at the door.
Creating is your time, give yourself some slack.
The room temperature I work in is around 78° F. and low humidity.
I measured out my 2-part resin. It is a 2 to 1 ratio. It takes time to cure in small amounts but if you mix up a lot the resin will start to cure faster do to the volume. I placed my pieces upright in containers to keep things clean and safe when curing. Pour a little stream of resin into the track, keeping a close eye on the bottom to make sure you’re not leaking.
My resin is a thin viscosity like water, so there is a less chance of bubbles. I do use a little back massager to vibrate any trapped bubbles.
Bubbles are ok, just nice to get as many as we can out. Top off as needed and add more tape if leaking. That’s it set aside to cure in a warm, dry area.
Step 7: Oh What a Sight!
It is so hard waiting for theses beauties to cure, just want to open them up. But I waited!
The cloudy look is just the tape, it is the adhesive that as drawn moisture. No worries.
Just start peeling away the tape, to unveil the richness below. I know it will be hard but it is best to let them set for a few more hours or one day after removing the tape.
The harder the better it is, to help in the sanding and polishing process.
Step 8: Sanding and Polishing Your Incandescent Fractal Finery!
I just had to put that in (Incandescent fractal finery)!
What a mouthful, but when you finish these pieces you will understand were I’m coming from.
The idea that we can wear a piece of art that has so much depth and takes us on a journey to a Rainbow nebula without leaving earth is amazing.
The pieces are long and need to be marked and cut to size. This is very easy to do.
Once I determined the size,they are placed in a vice so they can be cut down with a small hacksaw. Please be careful. You may get little slivers but a file or grinder will quickly remove them.
Now that the pieces are cured more and cut to size, it is time to sand and polish.
We start by grinding down the surface till it is flat and smooth. Then with various grits of sand paper from 600 - 1200 start sanding. The last 2 sand papers are for wet sanding.
Be careful when grinding protect your eyes and hands.
Sand, Sand, Sand, Nail sanders work great. I use the Dremel to get large rough areas clean and finish with sand paper.
Wash the pieces before polishing. Use an old t-shirt and apply some plastic polish do a test.
With the face, down on cloth and polish wit firm circular motions, check and repeat till shinny. If the shine just isn’t happening you can add another thin coat of resin.
Glue a bail to the back and there it is a one of a kind Rainbow Nebula inspired work of art.
The depth is endless and the metal can be colored to give even another layer of depth. No matter what you do just create something you will be glad you did! Thank you! Julia
GlassMoose made it!