Resin is arguably an underrated technique.  It has so much more potential besides its ability to enclose embedded objects into a glass-like finish. Resin is an excellent glue in itself, a sealer, image preserver, surface protector and so much more.

Resin is a particularly wondrous product for mixed media artists.  One of the best known is silver smith Susan Lenart Kazmer who developed and introduced jewelry grade ICE RESIN® to the jewelry making community back in 2006. I received her latest book,  Resin Alchemy: Innovative Techniques for Mixed-Media and Jewelry Artists for review.  It is published by Interweave.

The book shows how resin can be used in many creative ways - some of which handmade jewelry artists may not have thought about. As a metal smith, the author also instructs on basic metal working techniques which can be used to broaden design possibilities.

One thing stood out -  the author's amazing experience with resin. I especially enjoyed the sections of the book where she covers special effects and surface treatments.

In the first section, she shares many tips about how to use resin. Like how resin needs a temperature of 70° F (21° C) to cure.  So if you have a cold studio, curing resin needs to take place somewhere else!  

I've always hesitated adding liquid paint to resin in case the addition disrupts the polymerization. But  Susan explains all you need is a drop of either acrylic or even oil paint - one gives a transparent effect and the other an opaque one. She even goes further and suggests  more unconventional inclusions, such as dirt, sand and spices!

Some of her innovative ideas include how to introduce interior crack effects as with the bezel project below or engraving the resin after it has cured.

The basic metal work techniques taught include how to use eyelets, rivets, metal sheets and wire in designs.

The author has her own style of mixed media designs and inspires others to incorporate all sorts of materials such as found objects into jewelry pieces.

One outstanding section of the book, and a favorite, is when resin is coupled with wire! She instructs on how to create wire bezels as shown with her Heart Wire Bezel project and the Resin Coated Paper Leaves bracelet below. 

Many artists would encase dried flowers in resin. But Susan takes a different approach with her Resin Coated Rosebuds  project.  She shows how individual dried rosebuds can be stabilized with twine, coated in resin and then set into an end cap. She also has the following inspirational design where the rosebuds sit in a trough like bezel :

Her stacked paper ring project makes use of resin coated torn up sections of paper.

The instructions show the used of wire with a balled up end (torch balling).  However, the final project photo shows how a wire loop can be used instead - a point which was not mentioned.

The penultimate part of the book deals with mold forming.  The author covers how to use silicone molding putting to create molds from a small object.  My favorite cast resin project has to be the one where she first creates a mold for a lock and then uses resin to make the copy!

The cold enamel, crackle surface effects and how to create resin based plique-à-jour in the last part of the book are also excellent ideas.  She even shows how cold enameling, resin wire can be combined to create cloisonne designs! No firing needed!

Shown below is the project which uses crackle nail polish.  Resin is used to seal the surfaces.

The book showcases Susan's distinct design style.  While the style may not appeal to everyone, the instructions on how she achieves different effects is the foundation of the informative and instructional book.

Some of the final design photographs are inspirational - she does not always show how those particular pieces are made.  But the techniques are shared on simpler technique projects so readers can use them in designs of their own.

This book is for resin artists who wish to advance beyond the basics and create true mixed media art.


If you'd like to win a copy of  Resin Alchemy: Innovative Techniques for Mixed-Media and Jewelry Artists please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

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This giveaway is international.
If the winner has a non-post box US address, the prize will be a physical book.  Otherwise it will be an eBook.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Thursday, November 12, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

I receive books and products for review.  I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links.   The opinions expressed are solely my own.  They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

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