Well in August (yes, it was that long ago!) we featured our Patera components and DG3 Art Gel, a self-hardening resin-type gel used to create coatings and fillings when making custom pendants. These items can be found in our ‘Custom Jewelry Corner‘ on the website. I promised an update on my first attempts and here are the results!
I ‘borrowed’ some clip art from the ‘net and printed them on some card. I then used one of our fantastic punches to get the exact size I needed for my square Patera by Nunn Designs pendant. Next, as suggested, I covered my inkjet image in several layers of Modge Podge, letting each layer dry (well, kinda) before applying the next. Then I gave the bottom of the Patera a liberal coating of Modge Podge before sticking the image down, burnishing well to ensure the whole card made contact with the surface.
Once dry (but not quite dry enough I suspect-I’ll explain later!) I carefully squeezed a good coating of the DG3 into the Patera, covering the entire image and using an opened paperclip to remove any tiny bubbles. And I let that dry overnight, covered by a glass to ensure no pet hairs and fluffy bits got stuck to the top. I noticed some of the ink was lifting and wicking to the edge of the paper. But it actually made a cool, antiqued effect that I could probably brag about as being intentional. But I fear that it was because I did not let that Modge Podge dry enough. But it looked quite beautiful anyways. Then I applied another layer. And waited.
Now, after 24 hours I thought it it was dry, so I put it into my bead box ready for use. But it wasn’t. The next day I found one of my other pendants beautifully embedded into my glassy surface. But not to fear! I applied more DG3 Gel into the groove and all was saved believe it or not.
So the lessons learned in my first attempt at Custom Pendant Making:
1) Be patient and let the layers of Modge Podge dry. Apply many layers, unless of course you do want that antiqued look that I managed to achieve. If you are really keen to keep the crispness of an image, take it to a printing shop and have it laser printed to ensure no running of ink.
2) Apply many thin layers of DG3 Art Gel instead of a couple of thick ones. That way you can make sure that each layer is suitably dry before applying the next, thus avoiding sinking the contents of your bead box into your piece of art (unless of course you want to, by all means do).
3) Squeeze a little of the gel onto a spare piece of paper, ‘hold the squeeze’ and begin to apply the gel into the Patera slowly. Ensure the nozzle stays under the level of gel as much as possible to avoid bubbles and whatever you do DO NOT LET GO of the bottle until you have the required amount of gel in your component. If you let go you will suck up all sorts of air and that results in bubbles! Also, avoid shaking your bottle before using it-let it sit still on a shelf so that as little air as possible is in the liquid.
It sounds tricky but it really isn’t-you do have to be patient with drying times however. It’s the price you pay for not having smelly resins and UV lamps to contend with. I will certainly make more and experiment with adding little embellishments to the gel, etc. I added some antique copper chain and crystal copper Swarovski Bicones to this one, keeping it quite simple.
The great thing about this is there is no big expense needed-just one bottle! Why don’t you have a try? Look at our August blog for a video demonstration and visit the Custom Jewelry Corner for all you need to get going…we look forward to receiving some photos of your results:)