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  • A Bracelet That Would Fit My Horse (a story of bangle sizes)
  • Sumner Smith
  • jewelryresin

A Bracelet That Would Fit My Horse (a story of bangle sizes)

I think I mentioned a while back that I was starting experiments in bangle sizing. It seems like this should be fairly easy to accomplish - just make different sizes already.  Except that everything I make has to come out of a mold, which means I need different size molds, and the only mold form I had was for a size medium.  Problem.  And also baseline irritating, since people come in different sizes, so obviously bracelets should come in different sizes too.    

So I undertook some sleuthing on the website of my silicone supplier, and it revealed that you can both shrink and expand molds.  Score.

The thing is - the directions on the website totally worked. They just didn't work as seamlessly as it sounded like they would.  

I ordered quick curing urethane resin (yucky stuff, but extremely cool - you can actually watch it turn from clear to white in less than a minute as it cures, if you can find a moment to look at it during your panic while you try to get it where you want it before that cool chemical reactions kicks in.)  And I got special silicone catalyst so that you can either add solvent or take it away to make the whole thing shrink or expand. And I screwed it up, and tore the molds, and let them expand so much my horse could've worn the bracelet, or shrink so much my cat could've worn the bracelet, but then eventually I actually DID IT!  I made bracelets the same shape as my size medium, but in a small and a large.  SUCCESS.

Except that the resin wasn't smooth.  At all.  Because pouring quick curing urethane into a silicone mold that's coated in an evaporating solvent is not a recipe for beautiful resin.  So then I poured a master blank in each size out of epoxy and embarked on the very laborious, but extremely rewarding, process of sanding (and sanding, and sanding, and sanding) and polishing (and polishing, and polishing) until that epoxy was perfectly smooth and shiny.  And so then, finally, I actually had what I wanted.  The one master blank in each size.   Like the needle in the haystack.   And I made a mold off that one master, and made a bunch more blanks, and I'm now guarding those with my life.  Or at least with my big dogs.  Because while fun, that was also seriously labor intensive.

And that friends is the story of how I ended up with these bangles in a range of sizes.  By now you're maybe thinking, couldn't she have just found some bangle blanks in a bunch of different sizes?  And the answer is: maybe - but they wouldn't have looked alike.  And the thing is, I wanted to offer the *same* bangles in a range of sizes.  And now I do!

And if you're a fan of working with epoxy, and you're wondering how I sanded and polished it to get a perfect finish - I'm actually going to write that down at some point.  Maybe in an ebook.  Because there is not much information out there explaining how to do it, and a lot of websites that will tell you it is impossible.  I tried a bazillion things that didn't work before I found one that did - but eventually, I found one that did.  So at some point, I'm going to put it out there in the world.  Knowledge is power.

  • Sumner Smith
  • jewelryresin

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