Google+ The Art of Friendly Plastic: FAQ - How to get a Professionally Looking Finish on Friendly Plastic Pieces...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

FAQ - How to get a Professionally Looking Finish on Friendly Plastic Pieces...

Barbara has asked how to finish a Friendly Plastic jewelry component, so the back looks as good as the front. This is a FAQ I hear quite often. Although there are several different ways to achieve this, I thought I would share what works best for me. Living in Las Vegas, the summer heat is a real problem for a Friendly Plastic jewelry designer. This is why almost all of my pieces are sealed with a resin coating. This coating will protect your finished pieces from being destroyed by the heat. Also... this is very important to keep in mind if you are planning to retail your finished pieces. You never know where a buyer may live or where they are planning to wear that piece (soaking up the sun on a Caribbean cruise). It is always... better to be Safe than Sorry.

I always cut out a second piece of plastic in a coordinating color for the back, when making most of my components.
Apply the resin sealer following the manufactures instructions.
Note: I like to place my pieces on a non stick cookie sheet. This way if there is any run off, it will be easy to remove later. Once I have the envirotex mixed, I like to pour it into a small squeeze bottle. The application will be more precise and much easier. Blow softly through a straw to pop any bubbles that remain. Allow to dry at least 12 hours. If there has been any run off, remove the piece from the pan by pressing the needle tool under it and lifting. You can cut the excess off with a scissor. Allow the resin to finish curing another 12 hours.

To put the components together, heat and soften the back side of your component using the heat tool. You don’t want to soften the whole piece, just the surface, enough to press the eye pin or bail into place. Be careful not to touch the softened plastic with your fingers. Now, align the two pieces one on top of the other and gently press the two together. Allow to cool without touching. Once the plastic has cooled you can NOW pick it up and smooth out the edges and secure the bond. To do this simply re-heat along the edge, and rub over it lightly with a moistened finger. Now you are ready to assemble your design.

If anyone else has a great finishing tip, I hope you will share it with us.


Barbara Lees said...

Thanks, Jana, for a wonderful desription.
I better get that resin sealer going - I never know when these Vikings want to off off an a hot cruise somewhere.
It looks very good, your pieces, what a lot of patience that need - 2 * 12 hours! Well - it looks a million!

Thanks once again,

Gillie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gillie said...

I want to try making a cuff bracelet and use envirotex lite to seal it. I had a conversation with a clay metalworker who said it would not be possible to use the sealer on the cuff as the envirotex would slide off as it cured . Can you offer any tips or advice about this please?
Thanks Gillie

Stella said...

Has anyone tried a UV cure resin? On that cuff you could do a couple of passes to get all the way around, and the curing time is only 20 minutes with the right kind of light (ie: blacklight, nail drying light) I don't have any friendly plastic yet or I would have tried it. I was just cruzing thru the forum when I thought I might have something to contribute...

Linda Peterson Designs said...

Hi Gille,

Jana has a special technique where you can use 2 part resin and create a cuff bracelet. That is a special technique that she has developed and so it would be up to her as to whether she wanted to share that or not.

You can of course use uv-resin on Friendly Plastic, but those pieces would need to remain flat as once it is cured it does not bend well without cracking.

I hope this info helps a little.


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