Failed Pin Making AttemptsMy first look into making pins was to create polymer clay moulds and then pull polymer clay pins from these. It worked but the resultant ‘pins’ were more brooches and heavy for that. Back to the drawing board and I next tried using outliner dimensional paint on silk and then filling these with resin. It also worked to an extent but I could not get consistent shapes and the process was too time consuming. Next I tried embossing aluminium sheet and filling the depressions on the opposite side with resin. I did the embossing with my Cricut maker and this produced consistent results but was too laborious and fiddly.
Handmade Resin Pins Success At LastI followed a course on making resin jewellery on Domestika and it occured to me that pins made completely from resin ought to work. I just had to make moulds and the idea came to make masters from 3D printing and then make silicone moulds from these. When I looked into it I found that moulds were easily made from pla 3D prints so I got started with Blender were I had a couple of false starts before deciding on a strategy for building my models. I had to learn a bit about 3D printing and found a great addon that checks models for their ability to print. Then I had a few false starts printing the models because they were fairly small and I only had a 0.4 nozzle on my machine. Some 0.2 nozzles arrived and shortly after I had my first successful 3D print. The mould making was fairly straightforward. Then I used resin to fill the moulds which of course involved the elimination of bubbles. With such small details bubbles were bound to get stuck in places so I developed a technique of putting the resin into the moulds with a syringe.
From Pencil to Handmade Resin PinsSo my ideas start life in my sketchbook as little doodles. I decided to start with a series of animals – which acquired the name Pinimals. My first was a hedgehog and badger, weasel, fox and frog soon followed. Here are some pics of the initial sketches.
The sketch gets photographed and then imported into Blender where I convert the linework into walls on top of a base the shape of the outline. The first few took a while as I got up to speed with some Blender shortcuts but then the process became very therapeutic. The model gets exported as an .stl file which then gets chopped up into layer information by some 3d printing software. I use the Kingroon version of Cura.
N.B. Blender is such fun when you get into it and I ended up making some fairy earring models with the sculpt feature but have not found a good way to reproduce them yet . . .
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my process and how it developed and maybe you are inspired to build your own process for making something. I would also love it if this post has intrigued you to look at my handmade resin pins, and maybe collect them. Hugs, Ceri xx