Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Broken stones + resin + mica or glitter = a druzy type of cabochon

For a long time, I haven't known what to do with stone beads that break. It seems such a shame to throw them out--yet, what could I do with them? When I saw my team member Karen Mc Govern's gorgeous bracelet in Bead Trends, my wheels started turning. Then I started seeing druzy pendants everywhere, and thought "maybe I could use my broken stones to make that."

A druzy, or drusy, stone exhibits a coating of fine crystals that look like a layer of glitter. They appear when a stone is cracked open, like a geode. A lot of the druzy stones I've come across look simply like a cool rough cut stone, and the sparkle is very minimal. For a great explanation, see

 A true druzy is a hard stone. To make a faux druzy, I've used soft stones that you can smash with a hammer. 

To begin, mix your resin well and set aside. Have extra cups available if you want to use a colorant or add mica to your resin (or both!). Place the stones in a zipper bag and smash with a hammer. I kept the colors separated; you can do that or mix them.

If you want to use a colorant, mix your clear resin with that in another cup. I happened to have a bezel that I had already half-filled with a bright blue colored resin.

(tip: use a bowl or tray of rice when gluing or curing resin in uneven bezels to allow it to sit flat.)

I also mixed mica powder in with resin in a separate cup to add a little color and shine. Mica is, after all, rock, and it gives a lovely pearlescent shine.

Pour resin into your bezel base, filling only about 1/3. Using a tweezer, place your crushed stone pieces into the resin. At this point, if your stone is really light, you may decide you want to add a colorant as the stone seems to disappear into the resin. That's ok. You can stir it all up, stone, resin, and mica or colorant, in the cup and scrape it back into the bezel.

When you have the look that you want, fill with more resin if needed. If you want to add a bit of sparkle, now is the time to sprinkle on a bit of glass or fine glitter. Put a little on a cotton swab and tap gently with your finger for best control. You could use a pearlescent mica powder as well. If it's too much, all is not lost. Scrape it all out into a resin cup again, mix it around until the glitter is more subtle and put it back into the bezel. Have several bezels ready so you can play around with different colors. When you like it, set aside to cure for the recommended time. You may want to wipe around the outside of the bezel to make sure there's nothing stuck to it.

When they are cured, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, file any sharp points off. Don't slice your finger open like I did!

And now you have lovely pendants!

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