It often happens that I come across something at the flea market that I can use and take home. Not to everyone's pleasure, and I have to admit that sometimes our guest room seems like a storage place.
So I have been finishing all the projects, restrained myself and didn't take anything with me and then I suddenly ran out of projects. Until I realized that I had a gallbladder operation six months ago and had my gallstones taken home. Obviously it is garbage of course, because what do you do with an intruder in your body that gives you a lot of pain and that nobody wants?
Right, you throw it away but that I forgot. So they were still where I left them after returning from the hospital. When cleaning the closet I found them and - strangely enough - they made me think of pearls, and an oyster. The oyster, for example, turns a grain of sand that comes into the shell sometimes and irritates into a beautiful pearl so that it is smooth and no longer irritates.
That thought put my gallstones in a different light. When I looked on the internet to find out what a gallbladder operation costs, it turns out to be very expensive stones. My reasoning might be a bit weird maybe, but I decided not to throw them away but to process them in a piece of jewelry: a piece of jewelry that nobody else has and which is difficult to copy, However, if you ever have gallstones or kidney stones then you can make this for example. If you are lucky and don't have them, just take beads.
Step 1: What Do You Need:
Gallstones / kidney stones
A hook of an earring
White acrylic paint
Red food color
Foam or polystyrene
Step 2: Preparation of Gallstones
Just like flowers, you cannot place gallstones directly in cast resin, they must first be prepared. Put them on a piece of plastic and pour some glue on top. Pull them out of the glue with a needle so that excess glue remains. Let them dry and then repeat this procedure. Work carefully because they are very fragile and shatter. Cut of the excess of glue. Pin the stones onto needles that you no longer need when they are dry. I found a couple of needles with some rust spots on so no longer suitable for sewing but excellent for this project. When all the stones are on the needles pierce them in a piece of foam or polystyrene.
Step 3: The Scallop
Mix, to make a mollusk for the scallop, casting resin with a few drops of white acrylic paint. Stir well. Observe the packaging instructions for mixing the casting resin. The resin that I use is 50% resin and 50% harderner I used 15 ml harderner and 15 ml resin for this. My resin is no longer suitable for clear jewelry. During the move this was on its way for three months in a glowing hot container and turned yellow. However, it still hardens perfectly so with color addition, it is still great to use and saved from the garbage bin. Pour the resin into the scallops and let it cure.
You will have some leftover because you need less resin but a smaller amount listens more closely and you have the risk that the mixing ratio is not good, so the resin does not cure.
When the resin has cured make dots with a brown sharpie along the edge and with a black sharpie a black spot at the top of the shell, both on the synthetic resin. Blur with a piece of kitchen paper and alcohol, so it looks a bit more like a shellfish.
Step 4: Make an Eye on the Shell
Drill a small hole in the shell with a dremel. Start with the thinnest drill bit. Do not put too much pressure on the drill otherwise the shell will break. Repeat with a size thicker drill. The hole should now be suitable for the ring, if not repeat the step again with another thicker drill bit. Open the small eye and remove the bead. Now bend the earring hook as in the photo. Tie a thread tightly around it (To see it better in the photo, I have attached the eye to the shell) the hook can now be easily broken off by the thread and a nice eye remains. Open the largest eye, get it through the hole in the shell and then gently close it. Because I was afraid to lose it, I put the bead back on and also closed the smallest eye, but this can also remain open until you attach the pendant to the chain.
Step 5: Mollusk Part
Make a tube from adhesive tape that is about 1/4 to 1/3 of the shell. Keep the sticky side on the outside. Now put a drop of white glue on a piece of plastic and place the tube here so that it can serve as a mold for the synthetic resin. Tip: The tape does not stick to your fingers if you put some White glue on your fingers mixed with some water. Let it dry well. And be sure the glue is completely dried otherwise you will have a little mess as you can see on the picture.
Now make cast resin again, the same amount as the first time. Once the resin is well mixed, divide it into two jars. In one goes a drop of white acrylic paint. This becomes the casting resin for the adhesive tape mold and is part of the mollusk. Once the resin and white paint are mixed, pour a small layer into the tube, about half a cm high. And let it dry. As soon as the resin no longer sticks but has not fully hardened, remove the tape and cut the piece into a dome with the highest point out of the center. Try to cut it so that it fits smoothly on the resin in the shell.
Step 6: The Pearls
Mix the other part of the casting resin with a drop of food color that matches the stone or bead. I use red. I also added a very small amount of luminous powder to bind the food color. It then stirs more easily through the resin but keeps the resin remains transparent. Wait until the resin is just near the end of the processing time and dip the stones in the resin. Now turn regularly so that the stones do not drip. This is a boring job that takes about an hour. The resin has now become very tough and needs to be rotated again after an hour to keep its shape. Let it cure completely and your gallstone pearls are ready.
Step 7: Assemble the Scallop:
Make a new batch of resin but this time without color, if it is yellowish no problem you won’t see it any longer when finished, as long as it hardens properly it is still fine. Now rub the resin layer on the shell with a brush, the colors of the sharpie are now fixed and you have a layer of glue to stick the mollusk and pearls on. Arrange the mollusk and the pearls, this works fine with a skewer. Finally apply a thin layer with a brush over the pearls and the part of the mollusk and let it cure completely. You can remove any air bubbles with a pin or by holding a burning lighter or match above the bubbles.
Once the shell has cured, put a chain through the eye of the pendant and your unique necklace is ready.