THIS IS THE THIRD ARTICLE IN OUR "MADE IN SCOTLAND Q&A SERIES" - WHERE WE TALK WITH ARTISANS FROM AROUND SCOTLAND ABOUT THEIR LIVES, THEIR INSPIRATION AND THEIR LOVE OF SCOTLAND!
This week we have Laura Mae Moyes from Rainbow Resin Jewellery. She tells us about her passion for resin jewellery - how resin jewellery is made, what it is, and how she adds a Scottish touch to her jewellery making!
Hi Laura, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and growing up in Scotland?
Hi, I am a lover of all things creative (and sparkly). Growing up I was a dancer and have always been a music lover. I spend alot of my free time going to gigs, festivals or to see DJ's.
I am also passionate about travelling and hope to see more of the world and love being surrounded of nature. Growing up in Dunfermline was great to be surrounded by historical buildings such as The Abbey but also being just a short drive away from cities like Edinburgh.
One of my favourite things about growing up in Dunfermline was the Glen. It is such a beautiful place to spend time in nature. I have a lot of memories growing up there both on sunny and snowy days.
How did you get into jewellery making?
There are a lot of things that lead me to jewellery making. I have always enjoyed being creative and as a child/young adult I trained as a dancer at Telford College, Edinburgh and played musical instruments.
The older I got the more creative avenues I started to explore, I became interested in painting and restoring furniture as I loved the use of colour. This then led me to try embedding art work on tables with resin.
I instantly fell in love with working with resin and so it all began. My mum who is also a jewellery maker and a life long collector of vintage jewellery helped me by giving me resin jewellery moulds that she had. From the minute I tried making resin jewellery I knew it was for me.
What is resin jewellery and how do you make it?
Resin is a synthetic material used either as an adhesive, a coating or for casting. It is usually used as a two part mixture in which one part is the resin and the other is the hardener.
To make jewellery I mix the two part solution after measuring each component.
The mixing stage is important to make sure it is properly mixed or else the resin will not set.
Next comes my favourite part where I add in any colours or glitters I would like.
Next the resin is poured into moulds and a heat gun is used to remove any air bubbles - or if an object is embedded clear resin is poured, allowed to set a little then the object added (a charm for example).
Usually around 12 hours later the resin can be de-moulded and after 24 is fully cured and ready to be made into jewellery by adding findings such as chain or earring posts plus any other beads or design features.
Red and gold 3 piece set
What is it about resin jewellery that made you choose to work with it?
I love working with resin, I just instantly fell in love with it. From the moment I started experimenting with adding different colours and glitters to the resin I felt like the possibilities were endless.
I love working with colour and being able to mix up the exact colour that I want for a project.
I love being able to do custom orders too with resin. I love when a customer asks for a specific colour or item and I can create that for them. I love being able to create quirky and interesting shapes.
Do you have any pieces that do not use metal, for people with allergies for example?
I have started using suede chord recently for necklaces as I find this a nice alternative to metal chain.
I have also looked at using plastic link chain as it is nice for certain styles and offers another alternative.
Most of my pieces are non nickle/lead hypoallergenic, silver and gold plated as I have sensitive skin myself and so it is always something I consider.
Everything can be custom made though, so if someone wants a piece with no metal, that can easily be arranged!
What is a typical day for you?
Recently I have had a lot of craft fairs and so a lot of time has been spent preparing for these or out at a fair but when I am home a typical day starts with me getting up in the morning and de mould any resin shapes I have made the day before. To me this often feels like being a kid on Christmas morning, I love the excitement of seeing how they have turned out, it is a great way to start the day.
I would then normally move on to any on going orders and work on them as early as possible whilst also checking my facebook page and emails for any new orders or queries.
As the day goes on I would then post out any finished orders and then come home to work on some new creations. First I would sit down at my workspace to work on resin pieces from the day before, the resin pieces need to be sanded, and polished to make sure the edges are smooth and often I glaze pieces with an extra coat of resin to give them a real gloss effect.
Then I can focus on making the beautiful resin shapes into jewellery, sometimes this can be as simple as attaching an earring post, or other times can take several hours/days of piecing several resin pieces together with the use of glass beads in the design too.
The last thing I do at night (or sometimes the early hours of the morning) is sit down to make new resin pieces, I love finally sitting down and decided which colour resin I would like to make and which moulds to use. Things can get a little hectic and very messy during this stage and I usually finish covered in glitter.
What is your favourite piece?
Oooh now this is a tough one. It changes over time, for a while it was the 3 piece set I made with the purple and gold oil beads.
I used holographic glitter and added purple and gold glitter to mix the right colour to go with the beautiful oil beads.
I loved making this set and is still one of my favourite pieces.
Purple and gold oil bead 3 piece set with holographic glitter resin.
However I recently did a custom order in which a customer ordered one of my vintage style brooches with the dangling heart, she picked which colour glitter she would like and asked me to attach one of the charms used in a another piece.
I absolutely love the way this piece turned out and it is such a great example of how well custom orders can turn out and why I love to do them.
Custom Order Resin Brooch
Where do you find your inspiration?
Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere. Nature is a big one for me, I love colour and have always been drawn to the beautiful colours in nature.
I have always loved vibrant colours, this shows in my dress sense, and hair colours and has always been a big part of my inspiration. I love to take photographs and take a lot of pictures when I am out in nature or on holiday and often find myself looking back on these at the colours of flowers, the water, the sky and taking inspiration from these for new colours and pieces.
My love of colour is where the name “Resin Rainbow” came from as I love to make pieces in every colour of the rainbow. I also do a small range of neon inspired resin pieces which is inspired by the dance music/club scene, this comes from my own taste in music and 90’s culture.
My parents are both lovers of the 1950’s. From the music scene to the clothes and jewellery I grew up surrounded in vintage culture and so have found myself influenced by this too. I have found that I really love creating vintage style pieces and hope to create some more vintage inspired pieces in 2016.
Is there a Scottish feel to any of your pieces? How would you describe the style of the pieces you make?
I am definitely inspired by the Scottish landscape.
At the moment I have created some ice inspired pieces. These are inspired by the ice/frosty landscape of the Scottish winter and has lead to some beautiful resin pieces.
Ice Inspired heart set - drop earrings & pendant
The style of my pieces vary greatly, there really is something for everyone. Some of my 3 piece sets are very elegant but I also do more fashion style jewellery such as my heart necklaces.
I love sparkle and glamour and so this shows in a lot of my pieces. I am finding myself drawn to vintage style jewellery at the moment and so will be exploring that style more in 2016. I like doing things that are unusual and a little quirky and am always exploring new styles.
Which other creative people do you admire and why?
Someone who I really admire is my mum. My mum makes beautiful jewellery and has collected 1950’s vintage jewellery since before I was born.
She is very talented and has been a great help to me and we also have lots of great conversations about new creations. She is always on hand to give me great advice and to discuss new ideas with.
Jewellery must run in our blood as I am also lucky enough to have a sister who makes jewellery too using guitar plectrums. And so we also spend time discussing different ideas and creating things.
I am lucky to be surrounded by a lot of talented and creative people whether it be jewellery, music, art or many other creative avenues and so find a lot of inspiration from my friends and family.
What do you see the future holding for you?
One thing on my must do list for 2016 is Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Edinburgh.
I feel that this would be a great place to showcase some of my vintage inspired pieces but also there is a wide variety of styles at this fair and so feel that a lot of my pieces would work well here from 1950s inspired brooches to my 1990s inspired pieces.
Next year I will be focusing on picking which pieces I would like to sell and creating them in many different colours along with more “one off” type pieces. At the minute I do a variety of stock and so I would like to make a stocklist and work on perfecting these pieces and also doing custom orders.
Thanks Laura. Don't forget to like Laura's facebook page!
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