In this blog I will present commented discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of various art resins; discuss how to prepare flowers for use with resin and which flowers have worked best/not worked for me. I will be presenting interviews and discussions with other pressed flower and resin artists. I will have a "tip of the day" section.

I'm hoping that lots of you contribute; comments, arguments and disagreements are always welcome. Resin is such a complex medium that we all have something to learn. Besides, tweaks and even new resin products are coming out all the time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spotted Dog Asheville Pressed Flower Jewelry--OH MY!

I am so excited to introduce a new (to me at least) wonderful pressed flower resin jewelry artist...her work is just amazing! 
                      http://www.etsy.com/people/SpottedDogAsheville


How did you get started with pressed flower art

I actually got here in a rather circuitous fashion. I started as a cut flower farmer (and before that I was a corporate attorney - a whole different story.) I had all of these beautiful flowers, and eventually I started pressing some of them. And then I started playing with the pressed flowers, and started making some beeswax lanterns with the pressed flowers on them.

Eventually I had a few lanterns that didn't work quite right, so I cut them up and spent some time staring at the panels of beeswax and flowers. It was one of those times when you know there's something interesting that wants to be made, but it's hard to figure out what. Finally I started playing with making jewelry, and had my eureka! moment.
 
 

Now I make two different types of jewelry - the first uses a thin sheet of the beeswax and flowers (which I love because the beeswax provides a stable platform to cut the flowers, so I can frame out small pieces if I want). Then the beeswax and flowers are mounted to a glass tile and the whole piece is sealed in resin. I use this process to make pendants, earrings and rings. The second type of jewelry (mainly bangles, rings and pendants) is pressed flowers encased in resin.


What challenges have you encountered

I've definitely learned a lot through trial and error. Certain varieties of flowers hold their colors really well and others don't. Certain varieties are easy to press, and others - not so much. But for everything that hasn't gone the way I wanted, lots of those times turned into what I call happy accidents - where I didn't necessarily get what I was expecting, but I still ended up with something interesting or educational. It's all a learning process, and fortunately I enjoy the discoveries.
 

 


What advice do you have for newcomers to pressed flower jewelry

Don't be afraid to jump in! But also, find a mentor or some good books - that can save a lot of frustration. Overall, though, I think there's a lot to be said for just having fun and experimenting.
 
What are your plans for the future?

I'm going to keep playing and see where it leads me. I've got some new molds for the resin jewelry that I'm anxious to try. I went on a tear earlier this summer and made molds out of any shape that looked interesting to me. When I get a little time in my schedule I'm going to sit down and play with those new shapes and see what I end up with.

I'm also hoping to expand my online presence with etsy. Since I started as a farmer, I was very used to going to outdoor markets and have continued that trend as I transitioned to art. But as my son gets older and the baseball games get more frequent on Saturday mornings, I'm putting a lot more emphasis on finding an online customer base as well.

Thanks for the interview, and good luck to all of the other flower artists out there!
Sumner


 

Isn't her work wonderful?  Here's her link again:
   http://www.etsy.com/people/SpottedDogAsheville


Hint of the day: there are a whole bunch of new "icepick" bails which work wonderfully
with thicker all-resin jewelry. Only a very tiny hole through the piece is needed, and the bails don't interfere with the design of the piece. Here's an example:
I've found bails as wide as 12 mm grip length, although the above one has a 6 mm length.
I very much appreciate your comments and  suggestions.  Chris

8 comments:

  1. great interview thanks for sharing

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  2. wonderful work!:-)...the rings are so much fun!:-)

    thanks again, chris, for another great interview!:-)

    rebekah:-)

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  3. lovely work. Wish I knew the kind of resin & paint you used for the peach one.

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  4. Thanks everyone! Heather - I use epoxy resin (most of my casts are thick enough that the malleability of epoxy when it gets warm isn't a problem). I don't actually use any paint - it's all pressed botanicals and some beeswax. Let me know if you have any other questions - thanks!

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  5. awesome work done.Peach one is very beautiful.I love it so much.

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    1. The bangles are GORGEOUS. I have some purple orchids I want to make into a couple of bangles. Did you make your own mold or is this something I can find somewhere?

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  6. Etsy is such a convenient choice for increasing visibility of these rather unique products which you can only really find on the web. It is best to really make something out of them, branding and commerce-wise, and to treat it as a stepping stone to even more options. The sky's the limit.

    LeetWeb

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