resin jewelry and its pitfalls

I’m advancing my jewelry, albeit slowly. We’ve had a couple of lousy windy days where I stayed inside and figured out epoxy resin and all the ways to ruin a bag full of Hobby Lobby trinkets with it.

I sunk a Lego in one blank pendent and thought I could pass it off as therapeutic jewelry–you know, a reminder to “let go” (lego) of worries, stress, dying dreams, etc. Then I thought it was too cheesy, so I took it a step further and made a charm with a blank Scrabble tile to infer the endless options–blank slates and open doors, new dreams, and all that. When I really start rolling with metaphors is when someone needs to stick their leg out and trip me super fast.

They both look pretty dumb now. But still make more sense than a breast milk ring. The problem is I’m about to give myself a hernia from using the wire cutters to sever the typewriter keys from their arms. I need the backs of the keys to be as flat and smooth as possible. I decided against using a Dremel on it to cut it down–mostly because very recently I chiseled a nice dent in my middle finger with a drill bit (those miniature, travel Scrabble letters, amIright?) and the person who could take me to the ER in an emergency is on a trip out of state right now. (He’s also the one who generally stops me when I’ve taken a metaphor too far.)

So I was trying to brainstorm a way to affix the keys to resin. I needed some sort of silicone mold–not something I have lying around because they are sort of dirt magnets–and in a flash of brilliance I remembered my kids have been bringing home these worthless pop-it toys from school. I don’t know who came up with it, but its the new fidget spinner. Sure, fine, it helps kids and their sensory needs, but it’s still a toy–something the school tells me not to send to school but somehow gets passed off as a prize and sent home. A filthy, reusable tray of bubble wrap, basically. The individual little holes are just the right depth for my un-filed keys and exactly the right diameter. I poured a miniscule amount of resin in each well and stuck a letter on top.
It’ll take 48 hours to cure and then I’ll introduce it to the world, my world–friends and sisters-in-law who are always kind enough to act impressed. Or I’ll throw it in the trash and forget I ever said I’d make jewelry.

See the problems? The W key wasn’t set in enough resin, so it left a gap. I tried to set a chain in the other pendent, and it sunk to the bottom. I was too busy listening to The Shrink Next Door, I guess. Focus!

Update: Two days post-curing, I did a little sanding because the edges of the resin do not meet up flush with the typewriter keys. *Cough, cough. (Literal, not implied, coughing.)
After reading the warnings on health implications and resin, I’m not sure this little foray into jewelry making is worth it. Epoxy dust in the lungs seems a notch worse than whatever the fake butter microwave popcorn chemicals threatened (side note–I definitely am at risk there. I regularly ate a bag of popcorn for lunch as a high schooler).
Anyway, I never get the urge to open an Etsy shop because I enjoy being an unreliable gypsy of a crafter. Abandoning DIY crafts halfway through is a love language all of its own. My satisfaction comes from convincing myself it was probably selfish in the first place to invest as much time/dollars into pretending I could make something from nothing. That, and the fact I have learned a new skill in the process and can cross it off my list of thing-in-the-world-I’ve-learned-about.

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