Seeking a substance

NO, not an illegal substance LOL.

I am seeking a non-toxic (safe if touched) clear substance either liquid or gel based that dries extremely hard and clear with no air bubbles or cloudiness. Something that I can squirt into a shaped mold, place a few objects over the first layer then cover the objects with the liquid again so when the gel or liquid dries the objects I placed into the mold will be contained inside of the now solidified clear substance.

I don’t really wish to reveal the exact nature of what I am making but I can use this as an example. You know those fancy paperweights that are clear and have pretty flowers and such stuck inside or those necklace charms that are clear and have mini rose buds or grains of rice inside? I need a substance that can dry really hard and clear so I can contain something within it. I know some of those pendants or paperweights are made with glass or plastic but I have seen people make things like this with a gel based liquid instead of melting plastic or glass blowing, and the gel dries to be just as hard as a really thick durable plastic or glass.

What are some substances that can do that and are safe to work with? I have found some at the craft stores but they were very low grade and were only good if making a small charm or something, if you were making anything larger than a small pendant size the volume of the gel was too much for it to completely dry all the way thru. The thing I am planning to make is quite large but I am going to be testing it out first with about a 3" tall smaller version to see how it turns out.

If you havent already - Try artists “Medium” sold at art supply houses in the acrylic paint sections. Sold by the bottle usually.

It is used in this instance as a medium to spread the acrylic paints out thinner and thinner - with a very clear finished product that does not show bubbles.

Now don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just for paint. The low grade stuff is sold as Elmer white glue, the high grade as artist medium.

The thinner stuff is what most of us remember as kids… but they also sell artists " Gel" which is the same stuff only thicker. Like as in cookie dough thick. (Artists use it to make acrylic paint dry like an oil painting showing brush strokes and high reliefs) All of the high grade stuff can go on 1 inch thick and dry clear as glass. Best part is thick or thin - it’s fast, clear, cheap and cleans up with water.

They invented this stuff long ago and they just keep purifying, repackaging and repurposing it as time goes on to find new ways to sell it to us.

A more expensive option is a company that sells resins that are used in mold making. I think they are called “Reynolds” - but it’s a mess to use, heats up as it drys, requires a vacume to suck out bubbles and it’s expensive too.

Good luck with your project!

Well, it depends on what you’re making really. If I go by the example you used, you will need a molding of some kind. In this case, a mold is just something you use to place the object into so that it’s shaped. If it’s a wood piece, like an altar, any epoxy resin will do. I used Parks Super Glaze on an altar I made. That thing is gorgeous! But, those were flat pieces of wood. Charms, trinkets and such would do better being made in small molds like tin cans (where cookies and chocolates come in around the holidays. Remember those big ass cans?). For large, non-flat objects you would have to use a clear coat sealer and then “paint” it on the object by hand, unless you have a big ass mold to use, like a bathtub but that shit is hard to get out. Go to any Hardware store like Lowe’s or Home Depot if you need a lot. I actually don’t know if you live in America or some weird foreign country like Ecuador or Alabama so… there’s that. I don’t think craft stores carry large amounts for a decent price but Hardware stores usually have some for about $20.00 or so.

Side tip: wear a respirator or a cheap mask because you will get high. Use a ventilated room or just go outside. I don’t know your living situation so maybe a friend’s house would do!

Are you aware that 99% of the posters on this forum have drank,injected,smoked and snorted all types of known/unknown chemicals to reach various altered states of consciousness? (well that’s my excuse:))

And now now you’ve given them a new idea and you’re telling them not to?:slight_smile:

What I’m making will be about 3 inches tall and around 2-3 inches wide and thick. Well at least the test version I’m making will be, so I’m NOT doing something with wood that needs a thick glaze over top, this is something I’m going to make from a metal mold. They sell the molds at my local craft stores, made of metal, the pieces lock together on one side to form a seal tight mold and once the object is dried you just flip the little locking mechanism and it opens so the piece can come out easily and with no rough pieces left on the edges that need to be sanded off.

Someone mentioned epoxy resin in a PM and I looked it up, it’s what people use if making pendants with a clear dome shape with something stuck inside of the dome, so I think it may work for my purpose too. Although I may make a few pendants just to start with something small that I can practice with. I am aware of chemical smells getting people high. I went to art college for a while to take some courses for leisure and the non-art students always joked about how you’ll get instantly high if you go up on the 6th to 8th floors where all the art students are, but we have a well ventilated garage with tools and work benches here so that won’t be a problem.

Do research on different Resins and ask around. Some stinm to high hell, ehile others dont. Some are clear and some are not. Gonna have to dig a little to find the right one and a good supplier.

Dollar store glue sticks, the hot glue gun kind. Easy to melt, easy to pour, makes nice molds, safe to handle, inexpensive. If it fits in the oven, you can let several sticks melt into your mold.

I’m going to try the Epoxy resins. What I need to make, I cannot see a dollar store glue stick drying hard enough or clear enough for that and the low grade stuff I got at the craft shop was not enough to do the trick so I cannot see something like glue sticks working either so I think I will buy the stuff I need in a large 1 gallon container because I need a very large amount and it needs to be industrial grade stuff which I have found online.

Glue only works for me if making the bottle charms with a glass bottle and stuff floating around inside but that’s not what I’m making. I’m not making any type of charm or pendant I just used those as an example. I’d just rather not disclose what I’m really making because it’s a project between me and a spirit.

Dont forget when you use the molds to find a way to keep it from sticking. Not sure what they use some sort of grease or something.

Reynolds Mold Release Spray - $20

Thanks for the replies!

I saw bangles made of clear (glass-like) resin on Etsy recently, they had flowers in and were handmade by the person selling them, so there must be some out there that basically turn into plastic once they harden.

Yeah that’s what I’m after Eva. Someone told me where to get some in bulk and I did a craft search on google to get ideas and see if what I wanted would do the trick and was lead to a website where this girl makes charms for necklaces and she wants them to look like actual beverages so she uses the resins and adds food coloring to them and when they dry it turns into hard plastic but she leaves the air bubbles inside so when they harden it looks like a clear beverage glass with carbonated soda inside.

But there is more than one chemical that needs to be mixed to get it to turn into plastic. The clear resins by themselves are good for creating a think shiny coat on something though as others have mentioned. I always wanted to try making those charms too just for fun but jewelry rarely sells these days since 95 million people decided to get online and sell theirs too, there’s too much of it to go around and with the chinese sellers offering everything for $1 with free shipping who could compete with that? But I know what I need to buy now.

You need to get some celeb wearing yours, or schmooze a stylist for a magazine, anything like that kills the competition because people are all looking for a little magic in their lives, and wearing the same hand-made cookie-shape necklace as Cara Delavigne or whoever was snapped in is the way to get it.

When Kate Moss was that influential a few years ago, she caused a fairly nondescript mass-produced cotton shopper sold by a large chemist chain here to sell out almost overnight.

Hell, I’ve rung up independent clothes/accessory shops myself after seeing their clothes and accessories listed in a magazine, things like that are shot so beautifully they do 99% of the work for you of making you imagine how much better your life would be with it in! :slight_smile:

Sorry, I’m rambling… anyway this is the kind of bangle, try contacting the seller if you can’t find the exact make of resin, creative people are usually pretty happy to chat if you make it clear you’re not competing.

Eco Resins - Jesmonite, although not strictly a ‘bio-resin’, can be used as an environmentally friendly substitute for polyester GP resin. Although it is still a plastic/acrylic polymer, it is water-based and non-toxic to the user making it an ‘eco-resin’.