Heart Gift: Inspiration You Love to Wear

Three weeks ago I took a tiny plastic bag filled with found objects into a resin class. Yesterday I wore my completed project containing two of the pieces from my collection.

This isn’t a commentary about the time involved but rather the evolution of my object as it took on various iterations and the dissipation of my fear in the process.

“Resin, Relics and Ancient Artifacts” intrigued me when I first spied the class description. An artistic dynamo, Susan Lenart Kazmer talked quickly, offering information and ideas to nearly overwhelm some in her hands-on session.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart Gift Resin

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart bezel pre-resin

It was my first resin immersion. Not just any resin, but ice resin, a product Susan developed and perfected with a chemist. And it was so much more: painting with German glass, curing with a heat gun, adding inclusions, using inks and more. I captured my experiments with no real appreciation for the process and far fewer notes than I needed.

Imagine my disappointment the next day when I noticed a dip in the resin on the right hand side of my heart.

A week later, with timidity and foreboding I prepared to repair the mistake. I couldn’t bring myself to open the 16-oz bottles of resin and hardener I had purchased. Instead, I used the 1-oz plunger cheat set that had come with the class.

I added resin to the bezel, holding my breath as I dripped it onto the surface with the help of a lollipop stick. Fifteen minutes later I carefully checked for bubbles and, finding none, pronounced my virgin pour a success.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart bezel with resin

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart bezel with resin

The force was with me. No bubbles. No mishaps. But… no pizzazz, either. I let it dry, remembering Susan’s discussion of layers. I could layer more objects into the bezel using more resin.

Prompted by my little success, I read Susan’s book, “Resin Alchemy” cover to cover. Then I scoured my studio for additional objects I could immerse in resin.

Inspiration prompted me to add a found object to my heart bezel: a tiny little girl charm. Then, rather wildly, I dared to add a couple of words, “Heart gift.”

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart Gift Resin Bezel

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart Gift Resin Bezel

By this time, leaving well enough alone was not an option. After living with my new piece for a few days, I decided on one more pour, an addition to include some glitter on the right side for balance.

The result? Whimsical. Fun. Colorful.Whew! Two coordinated leather straps made a perfect finishing touch.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart Gift Resin necklace

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Heart Gift Resin necklace

Kudos to Susan Lenart Kazmer, author of Resin Alchemy, for the inspiration behind this fun project.

How will you seek inspiration?