Now we’re going to get to some actual pouring! Here comes the fun (and terrifying, and nerve-wracking, and messy) part!
What I’ve done beforehand is measured out exactly how much liquid each mold will hold. I do this by filling the mold with water and then pouring the water into a measuring cup. (Dry very thoroughly before using the mold for orgonite, and also make sure your molds are debris and dust free when starting.) That way I had an idea of how much resin to mix for each piece or each layer.
I figured that each pyramid would hold about a half cup (4 oz) of resin with all the metal and crystals added. I measured precisely this amount with my measuring cup and then transferred the resin to a plastic disposable cup for mixing. If you are adding fine metals, dye, or glitter, this is the stage where you would mix it into the resin. The last thing you want to do is put in the hardener because once you do that the clock starts ticking.
I’ve measured out 40 drops (yes, I counted every single one) in the included hardener cup and I’m pouring it into the cup to be mixed.
Here you’ve got your stir stick (skewers work well). Mix everything thoroughly to make sure the hardener and resin have been completely combined. Once you get to this stage, you need to act quickly. The estimate is 15-20 minutes of working time depending of course on how much hardener you added and how hot the ambient temperature is. I found I had about a minute or two before the stuff started to gel.
Before you pour, you’re going to spray your mold with your cooking spray or lubricant to be sure the finished piece comes out. Wipe it around with a rag to ensure all places get an even coating. This is especially important for glass or metal molds.
Adding the ingredients
What I did here is pour a tiny bit of my half cup portion into the tip. I did this because I knew my metal shavings would be quite fine and I wanted the resin to soak through them without having air pockets or voids. I’d recommend starting with a small resin pour before adding any ingredients to avoid metal or crystals sticking out of the piece when you are done. Better yet, if you are working with very tiny metal shavings or splinters (as I was) it may be a good idea to mix that into the resin before you pour.
What some people like to do is let the layer start to gel so that they can place things on top without those items sinking to the bottom or to separate the color layers from each other if the piece is going to have dyed layers. It depends on what you are making. For an HHG like this, I’m working with one batch of resin and have no need to wait. I’m ready to pour in the first portion of metal shavings.
Here is where your quartz point will go in. If you are making a flat piece like a TB or a coaster shape you can lay the crystal on its side or have several points pointing in towards the middle of the piece. But what I’ve done is pour the metal shavings into the top to serve as a holding spot for my crystal. See how the resin has soaked into the shavings. Poke the metal with a skewer so the resin gets through all the little pieces.
Now you are ready to pour in some more resin, do a little poking with your stick, and start layering! At this point you will be doing metal shavings, resin, crystals, resin, metal shavings, crystals, resin, or however you want to layer your piece. Make sure you are adding resin in between layers to give it a chance to soak through all your ingredients. For a piece like this, it is unwise to put all your ingredients in at once and then pour the resin into the mold. Likewise, don’t put all the resin in and then add the ingredients. The resin will take up too much room with other stuff added in and will spill out the sides.
You can see that I’m getting near the end here. For this piece, I’ve added azurite nodules near the top, a layer of copper shavings, some crushed sodalite pieces, a bit of aluminum shavings, more copper shavings, some silver flakes, and then…
Blue kyanite blades. These will be visible at the bottom of the piece when it is done. You may not see the added crystals depending on how much metal you put in. I went metal heavy. I’ve heard some suggest a ratio of 50 percent metal to 50 percent resin (more or less) but let your intuition guide you.
Notice how uneven the sides of this piece are, and how the resin has not reached the top. Also notice how some of the metal and crystals are sticking out. This is not what we want, so right before we’ve reached the edge, we want to stop and do a little poking. You want the resin to encase all your ingredients and the edges to be smooth and even. After I poke everything down and make sure there are as few bubbles as possible, I add the last layer of resin over the top.
Waiting for the curing process
Now we wait for everyone to dry. This can take anywhere from hours to days depending on, again, the ambient temperature, humidity, how much hardener you used, etc.
While we’re waiting, I’m going to take a minute to talk about my charging/cleansing plate you see up there. It was a rather complex piece and not one I would suggest for a beginner. I did it anyway, even though I was a complete beginner, and I got incredibly lucky.
Here was my concept. I get a lot of crystals and wanted a surface large enough to charge and cleanse them on. I was making mini pizzas one day when the idea hit me that a cakepan would be a perfect mold.
I started out with a cup of resin (80 drops of hardener, and yes, I counted those too). I layered the bottom of the pan with the resin and threw in some copper nuggets. I wasn’t concerned about letting the top layer gel a little bit to create a backdrop effect when I later added the visual ingredients, so that meant my copper nuggets were going to sink right to the bottom of the mold (or to the top of the finished piece). I then coated the whole thing with a sprinkling of selenite shards and dust. Selenite is a very cleansing and gentle crown chakra stone. It resonates at a high frequency, like the angelic realm, and was my primary crystal additive for this piece. Next, I added my grid of 4 large quartz points in each of the directions pointing towards the SBB coil in the middle (I made the coil out of #12 gauge copper wire from a hardware store). After that, I added in four quartz pencils in each of the available corners. You can barely see the crystals laid in because they blend with the selenite and resin, but they’re there.
My next layer was a heavy and liberal dose of sea salt sprinkled thickly throughout the pan. Salt is also very cleansing, and when I went to the store to buy some I picked out the canister whose cleansing effect could be felt most easily. I should add at this point that every single thing I put in I gathered slowly over months and put together to be sure they all matched each other energetically. This is very important. I didn’t want anything but high, cleansing energy so all crystals were chosen with this intent and laid out together beforehand to be sure they’d work for this purpose.
Also, remember that anything you add that is meant to be seen (pendants, SBB coils, pictures) needs to be put in upside down when you are making the piece because when you turn the finished product right side up after you’ve taken it out of the mold, you want the right side to be facing you. I sensed the direction of the SBB coil that I felt was most conducive and then put it in upside down so that when I turned it right side up it would be coiling in my intended direction.
Next comes the metal. After I added the metal layer I put in a very intense, high quartz double terminated crystal in the center. At this point, I was layering about a cup of resin at a time. When I got closer to the top, I layered in half cup increments.
I had forgotten that I had bought a bottle of lavender iridescent glitter to add to the piece. I didn’t want to dye it per se, I just wanted it to have a little shimmer or sparkle or something. What ended up happening is that, in the second half of the piece, I suddenly remembered the glitter and mixed a whole lot into the resin I was preparing. What I got was a wonderful two-tone effect, with the glitter acting more like dye (whether because of the chemical reaction to the glitter substance or sheer quantity added, I don’t know) and setting the bottom half of the piece apart from the top visually. It was a happy accident.
So let’s get back to our pieces and see if they are drying nicely, shall we?
See how the piece is starting to pull away from the edges? This is a good sign. Hopefully you remembered to spray lubricant on your mold. Worse case scenario, you may end up destroying the mold to get the piece out or never getting the piece out, so be wary of that. My piece above looks like it’s starting to separate nicely from the mold. It’s shrinking as it is hardening so this is what you should expect to see.
Try not to touch the surface with your fingers, as you may get fingerprints permanently embedded in your pieces if they are still tacky. Feel the pan or near it; if it is still very hot leave it alone. When it starts to cool you might have a finished piece ready to come out!
Sometimes it doesn’t quite dry. If this happens, leave it for awhile and give it some more time. Don’t be afraid to give it a night or even a couple days. If it still isn’t drying, try baking it for a little while. Be sure to use the right amount of hardener. It’s not an exact science unfortunately and resin is temperamental. If, despite all your efforts, you can’t get it to harden, save it and add it to another piece you pour later.
We’ll see what the final results look like in part 3!