Open Back Bezels - Bertie's Beads

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This information has been written by one of my friends an experienced resin artist.  I hope you find the information useful.

Resin; Epoxy Resin - a form of liquid plastic which can be used to create amazing and beautiful pieces of jewellery to wear.

Usually the epoxy resin comes in two parts - the resin and the hardener - which are mixed together to begin the curing process. Jewellery epoxy resin is crystal clear to give good view of colours and objects inside. Epoxy resin takes on the shape and form of anything it is poured into, which can result in very detailed castings. When used on a flat surface or in a flat shape, such as in a pendant bezel tray, most epoxy resins will self level out once poured and give a perfectly flat mirror like surface, very highly polished and shiny. Safe to use in all bezel and mold forms. Can be poured in multiple thin or relatively thick layers on top of other resin layers. The depth of the layers does not affect how it cures.

UV Resin - a single part resin that is cured by exposure to UV light, usually sunlight or a UV light source. As it is a single liquid, there is no mixing needed which makes it great for first time users. UV resin is added in thin layers, as it can be difficult to cure the entire piece if the UV resin is added in too thick a layer. However UV resin is not as tough or resistant to wear as Epoxy resin, and yellows much more quickly.

Pour;Pouring - adding epoxy resin into a mold or bezel Cure;Curing - when the two parts of epoxy resins are mixed together, the chemical reaction begins to turn the liquid plastic into a stable solid plastic form. There are two stages of curing - the initial stage will give a piece that is firm to the touch and leaves no fingerprints. However, full mechanical hardness, where the piece achieves maximum internal strength and resistance to scratching is only gained after a period of 3-21 days, depending on the type and brand of epoxy used. Curing is affected by low temperature, humidity, chemicals and the addition of certain substances; all of which can adversely affect the curing process, stop it altogether, or cause the resin to go misty/foggy.

Bezels;Pendant Blanks; Bezel Tray:Pendant Tray;Closed Back Bezel - A solid form, (usually solid metal but can also be wood, wire or plastic) which acts as a permanent mold into which resin can be poured to form a piece of jewellery. Bezel Trays have a solid wall around a central flat surface. These are the easiest bezels to use as the enclosed tray keeps the resin safely contained inside and the bezel can then be left for the resin to cure inside. Colour and embelishments can be added without the resin spilling over and can also have a finishing resin layer added to give the surface a highly polished appearance. It is also possible to create a resined dome effect on the surface to add depth and form. There is no additional work needed to sand or polish the piece in a bezel of this type, and in many cases, these bezel trays have a bail already attached so there is no need to use any further jewellery findings. A necklace chain or cord can be threaded straight through to give a complete and finished piece of jewellery.

Open Back Bezel - An open bezel form, these have side walls only, no tray to stop the resin from escaping. This means you can see through the bezel, as well as being able to see both sides of the piece once resin has been added. To use these bezels, you need to dam one side of the bezel to prevent the resin from leaking out before it is cured. This can be done using tape, such as packing tape or selotape, silicone mats, cling film, etc. Beginners to resin are advised to start with closed bezel trays as open bezels are a little more involved and take a little more work, but the results can be much more rewarding and exciting to look at. Open bezels are good for using to encapsulate objects and dried floral pieces, create a jewellery element that light can pass through and pick up colours & textures. In addition to the side walls, open bezels can contain a design pattern. This means that you can use them as larger alternatives to small charms to give additional larger detail elements and focal points in all aspects of your jewellery without them being filled with resin. This makes open bezels a much more versatile element. Open bezels can come with a bail already attached, but mainly have either small closed rings attached to outer side of walls to use with jump rings, or come without any bail or ring at all. In these cases, you will need to either glue a bail attachment onto the finished bezel or drill a hole through part of the resin in order to add your findings. Encapsulate - sealing something completely inside resin. Anything put into resin must be completely dry. Water will stop the resin curing properly and cause it to go foggy. Any natural element being added into the resin, for example flowers or wood, must first be allowed to dry out entirely.

Embed;Embedding - to add something into resin to form one solid object. Similar to encapsulating something, but embedded objects are not always fully covered with resin. Elements like wood or surface textures (like crystals,metal objects, charms, etc) can be pushed into resin that is curing but still tacky or liquid, so as to be permanently held in place by the resin but have part of themselves outside of the main body of resin.

Embellishment; Inclusions - additional colour/texture/decoration added to a piece of resin work, such as glitter, shells, crystal, dried flowers, etc

Pigment;Mica - Materials that are mixed into the resin to add colour. In the main, pigments tend to be either solid flat colours or transparent tints, and micas are a natural mineral finely ground which not only add opaque colour but give a sheen and lustre to the colour's appearance. The amount of these that you can add to resin are limited. If you add too much, the resin will not cure properly or will lose some of its resistance to damage. Hence most pigments and micas are highly saturated in colour.