Archive for January, 2011

This a wonderful reference book about contemporary jewelry by Debra Adelson from Lark Books with plastic and resin as the main mediums. The book begins with resourceful information about plastics and resins, followed by pages after pages of color pictures depicting of projects and jewelry pieces. This book is written for someone who has knowledge in working with a jeweler’s saw and other metalsmithing tools. The projects and artist’s works ranges from simple and elegant to eccentric and uncomfortable looking. One of the outstanding works in this book is by Anika Smulovitz, whose work “Untitled” is made in sterling silver, 18kt gold and transparency film. The techniques used in this piece are image transfer, riveting and crimping.

Anika Smulovitz -Untitled (Body in Motion-Study 3), 2007

Some readers might find some of the jewelry to be strange  and  something they would not wear. With this attitude, it is not a suprise that many have given this well-written reference book a bad review. However, the idea that because something is ugly, eccentric, not wearable, or even not “commercial” is what defines the jewelry artists from the designers. For these reasons, this book would be probably most appreciated by art jewelry students and artists. With Adelson’s book of techniques and projects I believe the artist would be inspired to find unlimited possibilities in incorporating plastic and resin in jewelry.


Named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” the Black Maria Film and Video Festival once again launches at New Jersey City University on Friday, February 4, 2011. The festival is known as an international juried competition and award tour of works from independent film and video makers.

The festival will be held at the Newark Museum the following day from 2-5pm. The event is free with suggested museum admission.

Last year, I attended the festival’s opening night at New Jersey City University and I fell in love with Joaquin Baldwin’s animated film,  Sebastian’s Voodoo. The film is about a voodoo doll who decides to fight back against a cruel master.

The festival will be held in venues across the country and internationally as well.

In October, The Black Maria Film + Video Festival’s 1st DVD was released featuring some of the best work from the past decade.

Black Maria Film Festival DVD

When I create jewelry I consider all materials to create a beautiful and unique artsy piece. Options such as color and texture are obvious choices but, when it comes to medium almost any medium can be used in  jewelry.  Feathers, found objects, paper mache and clay are some interesting and commonly used choices.

But did you know plastics (commonly known as acrylic) and resins are also available options?  Let me be clear about what I mean by plastic aka acrylic. I am not talking about manufactured plastic beads or any type of plastic manufactured by a jewelry supplier. I am talking about plastic which is manufactured in its “raw form” by a manufacturer that is in the business of selling plastic.

Plastic in its raw form are sold in clear or colored sheets, polished pre-cut shapes, rods and tubes. The great thing about buying plastic in this form is that you can cut the piece to your design, you can heat it and mold it to your liking and there are numerous choices to polishing and finishing.

Resin is another type of plastic which is also used in jewelry making. For the artist who loves to use photographs, slogans, iconic images or organic objects into their jewelry, resin is a great way to protect the medium.   Before resin is poured, it looks like gel. After resin sets, it looks like clear plastic. Both jewelry suppliers and home improvement manufacturers produce resins.  The look of your finished product will depend on the resin manufacturer, type of resin (epoxy, polyurethane or polyester) room temperature and how long you the resin rests.



"Courage" By Deemakesjewelry Copyrighted 2010

In my piece “Courage”,  I used Easy Cast by Cast n’ Craft because of its low odor and long 24-hour set. The advantage of using a long set is that it gives you more time to add color or fix mistakes. With normal quick-setting resins you have only a few minutes to finish pouring and if a mistake is made…well good luck. With Easy Cast the finished product is clear, shiny and glass-like. This product is available in craft stores and comes with a bottle of resin and its hardener which must be measured equally to get a perfect finish.

There are also expoy resin which are sold by hardware stores in pre-measured dispensers which are more of a headache than the convenience of pre-measured resin is worth because the epoxy resin and its hardener never truly dispense equally.

If you want a finish which is clear but, harder and more of a glass-like feel to the touch, I recommend Rio Grande’s Colores Doming Resin System. It is available on Rio Grande’s website and also comes in a bottle of resin and its hardener. This product also must be measured equally.

Polyurethane resins are used for large, detailed castings such as bracelets or overly large shapes into large molds.

Regardless of which resin you use, safety precautions must be used because of the toxic fumes that are released. Safety-approved respirators, good ventilation, proper gloves and safety goggles are a MUST!