What is resin art (and since when is this a trend)?
Okay, you poindexter – you’re late to the party. I could take you on a history lesson about when the first art resin piece was invented, but I actually couldn’t tell you (a Google search hasn’t revealed the answer!).
What I will tell you, is how I came to learn about resin homewares and where my passion for them comes from.
For a long time, people hid kitchenware away in their household. Serving platters, chopping boards, bowls, cutlery, you name it – away in the cupboards where Aunty Jan couldn’t judge you for not joining an MLM and buying Tupperware.
Then Kmart came out with a whole new kitchenware collection in beautiful colours – soft dusty pink canisters and charcoal marbled serving platters, and well, all the housewives on Kmart Mums Australia got onto the trend. Suddenly we were bombarded with images on social media of cheap and classy ways to have canisters on show to house our sugar, perched neatly on top of a bread bin, and WIN, we only spent $15 on the whole lot.
While I’m not really into the Kmart trend (although there is nothing wrong with being into it, I literally just don’t have my own kitchen to do that right now!) the idea of this is cool – that is, having kitchenware on show that matches your personality. Now there, is a winning idea.
The very first art resin workshop I did was right here in Brisbane, and I was excited to learn about the process. I’d done my research, I’d been on YouTube and saw these mesmerising resin art pours. But I’d never tried it myself.
The first time I tried it, it was like a drug – I was absolutely hooked. As an artist, my creative process is usually to start moulding and crafting and just see what happens. I never really followed the process of having to sketch things out and work to a timeline. Resin art was perfect for this mentality; I didn’t want to have control of this process, since everything else in my life is controlled. You know, what time you wake up, drop the kid to day-care, get to work, go home, pick the kid up, do dinner, bed, bath. Since art is where I let loose and let my creativity flow, the last thing I wanted was to follow instructions and a timeline.
Other than following the mix ratio for resin hardener to base, everything is left up to chance. Throughout the process I’ve learned that how you envision the colours will look in your head is never how they end up on the piece, and that epoxy resin really does stick to your hair if your ponytail grazes the surface of your canvas (it really is a bitch to get out).
For those folks out there who aren’t too familiar with resin art, I’ll break it down in ten words for you:
Mix epoxy resin with colour, pour onto ‘canvas’, let dry.
Super easy! Anyone can do it. Well I think that anyone can anyway. You might be thinking, why are you telling me this when you want me to buy your art pieces? I actually don’t know the answer to that question if I’m honest. But I’d urge you to give it a go if your keen, it’s so much fun.
Doing my first pour was a hoot. I met a lady named Emily (who I haven’t renamed to hide her identity) whose boyfriend surprised her with the class for her birthday. She was on the wines, and while I was only a few UDL’s in and very sober, we had a lot of fun just giving it a red hot go. She was doing a beach theme resin art piece on her serving platter, and I was trying to do the same on mine.
Want to know the absolute irony of this story? When asked where the serving boards were sourced from, the workshop trainer wouldn’t tell us – but I am almost 99% sure that it was from Kmart.
I wanted to sell resin art homewares, but I wanted to provide quality serving platters and the like. What I didn’t want, was to become the cheapskate that went to Kmart and charged people Robin’s Kitchen prices.
My husband and I tested a lot of wood (get your mind out of the gutter people!). In the end, we chose a beautiful, durable hardwood that is often used for decking called Merbau. We sourced our pieces, tested them, gifted a few to our nearest and dearest, and decided to make a go of it.
Then the real work started.
Each Funky Bitz homewares piece is routered by us, by hand. If you don’t know what a router is: it’s a tool that cuts perfect shapes in the sides of wood, leaving a really professional quality finish (also it vibrates a lot and if you do about 12 serving platters at a time your hands literally vibrate for hours afterwards. Again, mind out of the gutter!!).
It takes about 20 minutes to properly prepare the board for the epoxy resin after it’s been cut & routered, about 10 minutes to set up the workspace, and the pour can take up to 10-15 minutes per board. Once it’s poured, the coloured resin takes about 7 days to set before you can use it. It dries extremely hard and in a glass like state (so it’s super shiny and pretty).
If you haven’t read my first blog, you won’t know about all the other hard work I’ve put into getting this little bizzo started. But believe me, the process is longer than the 45 minutes you spend putting together each serving platter art piece.
Very ‘on-trend’, resin art homewares pieces definitely will impress Aunty Jan. You can have this one out on full display in your kitchen next to the red and yellow barnyard rooster you bought from New Farm markets. You will look like a hipster, especially if you lean your serving platter on the bench next to your cold-press coffee machine. With a variety of colours available (and I can also make custom pieces), it will more than likely match the colour of your rooster and your cold-press coffee machine.
The best bit? You won’t need to join an MLM. Winning.
P.S – I am slowly taking time-lapse videos of my creative process and popping them up on social media, so you can get a better idea of what resin art actually is. If you want to learn more, follow me on whichever is your poison: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest. I promise they’ll be up soon!