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Epoxy Resin over Polymer Clay Experiment

I am friends with Helen Breil, the polymer clay artist who is known for her silk screens, texture plates and awesome contemporary designs.  At a lunch date not too long ago, she wondered if epoxy resin could be applied on top of polymer clay.  I thought it would work but we both needed to see if the results will look good.  So Helen gave me two scrap pieces of her polymer work for this epoxy resin over polymer clay experiment!

I used Little Window's excellent Brilliant resin (15% reader discount code : BG1516). This two part epoxy resin has a different ratio for mixing, a 2:1.  I've mentioned it before in previous tutorials that it has a longer shelf life than many brands I've tried. Absolutely crystal clear with no signs of yellowing. Both parts are clear even before mixing unlike some brands I have tried. This is because of the extra effort in removing impurities.  But best of all, it is a low bubble producer.

You can use the markings on the little plastic cups for measuring the right amounts. I prefer to weigh to save some squinting. An important tip I learned from Little Windows is to microwave Part A for 6-7 seconds before mixing. This reduces bubble formation to a minimum.

Once the resin is mixed and rested according to the instructions, I poured it over the polymer clay pieces. These rest on Little Windows's large silicone doming tray - very useful to catch drips. The cured drips are easily removed afterwards.

If you are planning to try this and you are a resin newbie, resist the temptation to pour too much resin. If you do, it will overflow and leave resin "icicles" on the underside. Just work slowly and ease the resin to the edges if the self-leveling doesn't quite reach.

You can see the results below compared to one of my uncovered trial polymer clay pieces. Helen's pieces look like they are under glass!  She was suitably impressed there were no bubbles to be seen. I didn't have to pop any!  (It is trickier with molds and inclusions as I discovered with my real flower resin jewelry tutorial and other tutorials.)

Most polymer clay artists sand and buff up their work.  Some add some sort of varnish for a glossy finish. But adding resin gives the pieces a more substantial glossy layer - there is a doming effect.

Helen really loved the effect but we are well aware that not everyone will like this look.

Please let us know in the comments what you think!!

I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

I used natural light, my iPhone 6S with the ProCamera app and the Modahaus TS400 tabletop studio  for final product photography. The tutorial pictures were taken with the same equipment but with artificial lights in my windowless basement studio. Check out my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar  (currently working on online class).

Before You Go:

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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  1. Resin certainly gives a different look to the finish of polymer clay when applied. Plus - you don't have to be so particular about finishing the piece as it fills in the little scratches etc. and they can't be seen.

    I've used Lisa Pavelka's UV Resin and just popped it under a UV light. You can even tint the resin if you want.

    Remember I told you I took a course with Christi Friesen about 5 yrs. ago? We used Lisa's Magic Gloss UV Resin on nearly everything. Was fun!

    People can also check out Cindy Leitz's blog. She's done a ton of work on testing resins on polymer clay.

    1. Thanks so much Aims for sharing your experience and about Cindy's blog - I hadn't realized she had tested several resins. I got to say the UV cured resin type might be the solution for those like you who have temperature issues with curing regular epoxy resin.

  2. Thanks for doing these resin samples of my textured pieces. Normally resin is used over smooth surfaces and I was curious how it would look over a highly textured piece - I like it! Thanks for your tips on how you applied the resin. They were flawless!

  3. Thanks for clarifying the objective of the experiment. It does look good for textured pieces and not just smooth ones.

  4. I've been doing this for a few years now. I especially like brushing my textured pieces with Pearl ex pigments with a soft brush, before baking. Then coat with the resin. I've had several people believe my pieces were actually dichroic glass, including a glass artist! Fran at Little Windows is amazing. Great customer service, and the silicone doming mats are a must-have item.

    1. That is so cool that your work is mistaken for dichroic glass! I agree Fran at Little Windows is amazing. I cannot do without the silicone doming mat for sure!

    2. Could you tell what are "Pearl ex pigments"? I'm new to this.

    3. Jacquard Pearl Ex are metallic powdered pigments used by crafters. They are popular with people who work with polymer clay and resin clay. Beautiful colors happen when applied onto the clay surfaces. (affiliate link)

  5. Thanks for this very informative tutorial! I have been wondering how to do this and I love the idea of the “faux” dichroic glass look too!


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