I'm an avid crafter and I have always loved creating things and trying out new crafts, so it wasn't a stretch that once I joined Tim full-time at Critical Kit, that it would become possible to try my hand at dice making and resin craft.
Now, I'm going to be honest, the cost of supplies was slowing me down and in the end I opted to try a kit from Tief's and Things, as a means of receiving all the materials I would need, along with both video and paper instructions to get me started.
I immediately encountered the first of many pit-falls in the start of my journey of dice making and learning how to work with resin. Naturally it goes without saying, I have experienced; bubbles, spiky D20, soft D20s, muddy D20s, which were nothing like the exciting and beautiful colours I had poured, and glitter and inclusions which fall in lumps on the face of the 20. I've poured so slowly to hopefully prevent bubbles that the weighing scales have timed out and switched off.
I often told the kids that those stars, whoever they are, within their field, stand on the shoulders of thousands who hadn't made it to their level. The same for my dice, for the few that I show and photograph, they is a hexagon mould holding all those which didn't make it.
From the moment I pour my resin, I am waiting with bated breath to demould them and I'm anticipating seeing the final result. I'm practically holding my breath as I remove the cap, first concern - are there any surface bubbles, then pushing the D20 from the mould my breath is still held, as I see for the first time, the results.
I'd like to say - job done but that's just the start. Next is the sanding and polishing ahead of finishing and deciding on an ink colour. With a host of acrylic inks, it is generally a warhammer paint, called greedy gold which finally adorns the finished D20.
Now today, I encountered a new problem. As I entered my room, I immediately knew before I saw my D20s what to expect. There in front of me was the two part resin I was using and it was plain to see, I had used significantly more Part A, then B. Realising that my newly poured D20s wouldn't be set, as there was no Part B, to harden the solution. It was almost as though I had manifested the problem, after watching a YouTube video which mentioned making sure you don't do exactly what I had done. Note to self, make sure I have my coffee before starting to make dice. This seemed to set of a chain of new mistakes.
The clean up was a challenge and a couple of those D20s I had poured the unmixed resin into, were 'top-ups'. D20s I had poured but had surface bubbles on the face of the one. I attempted to tip the resin out of the mould, mixing up new resin to now pour to close the bubbles. Another 24 hours later, removing the caps, revealed wet resin and bubbles escaping from the dice. Seemingly, I would have needed to have cleaned of the D20 to ensure all the unset resin was removed, as now it was present under the new resin and preventing the resin to cure properly.
At the time that I tried to correct my mistake, I had poured a separate D20 and for some reason, I hadn't added it to the pressure pot and it was left there on the side. This gave me the opportunity to see how it would cure without the pot. Although I was excited to see the galaxy style dice, it was apparent when looking closely that there was a host of bubbles under the surface.
It is heart breaking when your dice don't turn out as expected, as anyone trying resin art will know that the cost of resin is expensive, as well are the plethora of materials to achieve different looks and aesthetics. Speaking of which here are few new mica powders I bought.
I literally squealed with delight as I opened these. They are so beautiful. Here is my first mix:
Mica Powders (Rolio Pigments) used:
- Graphite Black
- Purple Heart
- Tiger Orange
- Aurelion Yellow
- 40mg Part A and 40mg Part B, DecorRom Resin.
Now for the pressure port. I reduced the psi to 30, this time, in the hope that this would reduce, if not prevent the surface bubbles I have been experiencing.
I can't describe how excited I was, after holding my breath whilst I tentatively removed the caps and I was met with this glory.
- Electric Blue
- Maya Blue
- French Rose
- Pearl White
- 40mg Part A and 40mg Part B, DecorRom Resin.
From the mixed resin I divided this up into the five shot cups and then added the mica powder.
I tend to save yogurt pots, or any similar containers, which I can you for pouring, as I like to use a container with a wide opening for the pour. I'll order my pots, as I want to the pour them trying to layer similar colours together to prevent a 'muddy' pour. When you start to pour these into the moulds, honestly the colours are a delight. It's a shame when the final piece doesn't capture them due to blending.