My introduction to resin came by way of the amazing artist Riusuke Fukahori, famous for his photorealistic goldfish (you’ve probably seen his work). He takes painting in layers to a new level. Seriously, look at that fish! That’s a level of craftsmanship few of us could ever hope to achieve.
After watching a YouTube video of his work, I wanted to understand his technique, so I Googled the heck out of resin art.
I still haven’t tried painting like Fukahori, but I did discover jewelry resin, and started watching resin how-to videos obsessively. I learned tons from the artists I found online, and couldn’t wait to try it. But first, I did A LOT of work just reading and absorbing information.
For the sake of reference, here are some of my favorite resin how-to’s on YouTube:
Little-Windows: cute fabric ideas.
B’Sue Boutiques: Brenda from B’sue Boutiques has a bunch of great videos.
Beadaholique: the whole channel is pretty great.
Zougeebean: I learned tons from her videos and ordered from her Etsy shop (with great results). She sells molds and supplies for making all sorts of things from resin.
The blogs and sites where I learned a lot:
To be completely honest, I had a big freelance assignment to hand in. I knew that once I start resining, I would fall into a huge rabbit hole of craft projects, so I held off until my work was done and I could spare the time.
When I was finally ready, I ordered 3 different resin brands, so I could test and compare them side by side (I can be scarily thorough when I decide to do something).
After trying all three, I can say that Little Windows brand is the overall better choice, and hardens quickly to a clear, rock-hard surface. I also love it because it has absolutely no chemical smell.
However, it’s so much pricier than the others, that I would only recommend it after you’ve already learned how to use resin, worked out a line of products, and aren’t planning on making too many experimental mistakes.
Another little factoid about Little Windows: One time I got distracted and mixed up a batch with the proportions all wrong (almost twice the hardener). Instead of tossing it I let it sit to see what happens. I heard from a lot of sources that improperly mixed resin never hardens.
To my surprise, it hardened very nicely.
The two other products are very slightly inferior in terms of quality. They harden to a softer finish, and remain somewhat bendable (though this will not be noticeable in bezels). Unlike the Little Windows brand, they unfortunately both smell, and made my head hurt a couple of times. Don’t forget to work in a ventilated area.
Despite being two different products, they were pretty similar to each other. I think the EnviroTex Jewelry Resin is supposed to yellow less. Since yellowing is a problem that is supposed to happen after a few years of wearing the finished piece, I can’t say anything about it so far. Aside from what I mention above, they are both pretty good products, and fun to work with.
I also ended up layering one kind of resin on top of another (only after the first layer hardened), and gluing components made from different resin brands together. It’s really not a big deal and you can’t tell the difference.
Bottom line: all three products I tried are in many ways equivalent. You will get basically good results with each one. I would advise using the cheapest product (that would be EasyCast) to work out your designs, experiment, give yourself room to mess up, and practice your resin skills. Then, if you can afford it, I would recommend Little Windows once you’re confident in your designs.