August 10, 2010

LED and Ice Resin Experiments

 Wow, what a day!  It started crazy before I even got out of bed!  I received two very large orders this morning before I even had my coffee, which is great, even though the timing will make me a little bit crazy with leaving for my show in a week.  When it rains, it pours, as they say.  So I spent some time getting organized and the beads for my orders and for Bead Fest sanded and ready for bisque, and then got ready for visitors!
 I had been brainstorming some ideas with hacker extraordinaire Jimmie Rodgers since he saw the amber lock pendant I cast out of resin.  He had seen great effects done with using resin with some of the materials that he loves: electronics and LEDs (shown in the pictures above).  I was curious, too, and have been wanting to try a few new things with the resin, so we got together and did a few experiments.  We tinted the resin and cast it in rubber molds with LEDs embedded in the resin.  I suppose this means I will have to learn a little more about electronics and circuit boards to put these into use, and I will send some of the experiments back to Jimmie to see what he can do with them. 
Also a part of this exciting studio day was the great Mitch Altman, who helped brainstorm the experiments and was just awesome to hang out with.  Mitch and I took a trip to the post office to do errands and I found we have a lot in common, job wise, as we talked about things like order fulfillment and traveling for shows.  Later in the evening, Alex and I walked up to I3Detroit to hear Mitch and Jimmie show all their wonderful gadgets and get ready to teach a workshop.  We walked back through the park and settled in for Kick Ass the movie while I glazed.  I'm exhausted now, but am really happy with today and all the great ideas and experiments that happened!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. When I first saw the pic of the LEDs I thought it was hairpins. Anyway, seem like a fun experiment. I'd be very interested in seeing what you'll make of these.

    I used to have a soft rubber keyring with a watch battery sandwiched between the two LED wires inside: when you push on the keyring, the wires touch the battery and the light goes on. Then it's turned off when you let go. Made me think about playing around with LEDs, but as usual other things got in the way (school mostly)and I forgot about it. Until I heard about led throwies. Bookmarked the Instructable, but then didn't do anything more. Now you've made me think about doing something with LEDs once again.

  2. Maneki,
    Fun! You should do something with them! I am not sure what, if anything, this experiment will do for my work. I was more interested in helping the guys with a material that I know something about. Their enthusiasm is rather contagious, though, so ya never know!

  3. I thought they were doubled headpins. Ah, too funny. This is really thinking outside the box. WOW!

    I hope you got some rest Ms. Melanie.

    It's great to hang out with fellow artists and designers and talk shop.

    I've been busy with a lot of Art Fairs this summer. It's great when I can sell one of my works of art, but I really enjoy being surrounded by fellow artists even more.

  4. Melanie: are you making popsicles for ROBOTS?

    xox jean

  5. Ooh, sounds cool! Can't wait to see how they turn out.