Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beach Treasure, Epoxy Coated Shells and Pebbles.

I decided to make some pendants from the oyster shells and pebbles we found on the beach last week. So I headed down to the studio with my treasures.

The shells and stones are beautiful now, but when they were wet they were all so much prettier.

I had some casting resin in a corner of the studio. It's been there quite a while you can tell from the yellow colour the hardener is turning. It should still work and I don't mind the slight discolouration.

I mixed up the epoxy in equal parts and made sure it was well combined. I used an inexpensive paintbrush to coat the shells and pebbles. The brush will be pitched out after the product hardens in it. I haven't found a good way to clean this stuff out of a brush. Easier to start over with a new brush next time.

Part of a worm eaten shell. The colours are so much richer when the piece is coated in resin. It appears a dull grey when dry.

I tried to couple the pebbles and shells so they fit together. I think they're going to be pretty little pendants when I'm done.

Lightly blow on the coated shells when they are done being coated. Your breath will break the surface tension on the coating and let the bubbles escape. You don't need to blow hard or get too close.

Here are the steps I used to make little findings to hang each pendant.
Cut a piece of 20 gauge jewelry wire 3 and a half or four inches long.

I use an assortment of round and double round nose pliers to help me make coils and curls in the wire.

Make 4 or five coils in the very middle of the wire like this.

Roll one of the tails up to the center coils.

Roll the other tail into the center coil but in the opposite direction to the first roll.

Fit the new finding to the top of a coated and cured shell.
Use your choice of clear jewelry adhesive to fix the finding in place. I'm using a UV curing gel to adhere mine because I happen to have it on hand, but a good clear jewelry glue like E6000 will work too.

Let me know if you try this. It's pretty easy and I think the end results are pretty spectacular.


judi said...

These are so beautiful Kellie. I chose two for myself and will enjoy wearing them. I love my daughter, I get so many pretty things.

Kellie Mowat said...

Thanks Mom!
Love you bunches too!

Nettonya said...

Nicely done, Kellie. I also like your sand dollar tutorial - simple and very life-like in shape!

Kellie Mowat said...

Thanks Nettonya
I love those little sand dollars. They kind of made themselves.

Debra said...

Two great tutorials in one link...made my day! You are creating beautiful pieces!