I was so pleased to do an interview with Whitney, the artist behind Experience on Etsy. Her work embodies all the sparkly, vibrant colored goodness that attracts so many people to the possibilities of resin:
Red Resin Heart with Holographic Glitter
Whitney offers a lot of great tips for those just starting out, and lots of interesting tid-bits, so read on...
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. (anything you'd like to share...about your family, interests, where you live, etc...)
A: I live in a little college town in Georgia - Athens. I love this town! Athens has really helped to foster my artistic side and has so many great opportunities to further my craft. I attend the University of Georgia where I was recently accepted into the art program and will soon be taking my first class in jewelry and metalworking! I'm really excited to try and get into the Jewelry and Metalworking program so that I can learn some of the more intricate parts of crafting and add on to my current skill with resin. Hopefully my dreams will come true and this will all lead to fame and fortune. ;) School aside, I live with my boyfriend of 6 years and our cat, Luna. When we aren't working on things school or Experience Designs related we enjoy getting stuck on Youtube or Netflix, playing video games, and chillin' with the Luna.
Q: How did you get started working with resin?
A: I started working with resin in the summer of 2008 - It was a really fast kind of thing. I found the Etsy website first and then while I was browsing the jewelry category I kept coming across these unique jewelry pieces and I had no idea how people were making them. Cut to a few hours of research later and it's 3am and I've watched all the Youtube tutorials I could find on working with resin. The next day I went to the closest Michael's and found the EasyCast 2 part Resin and various other resin working supplies. My first resin batch was a mixmatching of items I found around my grandmother's house lol. I enjoyed the experience enough that inspired a lasting hobby turned career choice.
Q: Any advice you would like to share with those just learning the art of resin?
A: 1)Safety first!! Make sure you protect your skin! Wear some gloves - At first you may think that getting the resin on your skin doesn't have that bad of an effect, but the exposure will eventually cause your hands to get red and irritated. I have skipped on the gloves a few times because I hate the loss of dexterity in my fingers, but it really can be bad for you. Protect your skin, eyes, and lungs.
2)The next best tip I can give you that no one gave me when I was starting out is to buy some small, disposable measuring cups. At first I was using regular measuring cups where the smallest marked measurement was 1 ounce and making a 2 oz. batch of resin can be really difficult! 2 oz. will fill many molds and when you have that much at once it's hard to make quality, individual designs. I like to keep my batches under 1 ounce. I have found that medicine measuring cups work best and I buy them in sleeves of 100 on Amazon. :)
3)Have some patience. This is the one thing I've struggled with the most in improving my designs. When I first started working with resin, I liked to pour one round of resin and then it was done. Today my resin pieces have a minimum of 3 layers of resin, and when they are done I take the time to sand them with a resin sanding kit called Micromesh that I found on Amazon. A little bit of time can really make the difference in your resin pieces. :)
Q: I love your pieces – bright, fun colors and lots of sparkle! Are your designs the way you envisioned them when you started, or is it something that gradually evolved?
A: I would say it's half and half. I've always preferred jewelry that was bright and colorful and I obviously love sparkly things. ;) However, I didn't really have a set vision when I started making jewelry. I had thought about making more nature based pieces but I found that I had a natural attraction to working with glitter and bright colors. The first batch of resin I ever made contained a few pieces with colored sugar and even today that is one of my favorite materials to work with. I still love experimenting with different things to embed in the resin with my main criteria being 'Is it colorful?' or 'Does it Sparkle?' - That's honestly the best part about working with resin. It's a constant exploration, and the designs will always be evolving.
Q: Is there anything in particular that inspires you?
A: Nature is incredibly inspirational. Nothing can beat the silhouette of a winter tree against a flaming-red sunset or the twinkling of billions of stars and planets in the night sky... Haha, I got a little corny there, but it's still true. If ever I feel like I need some new ideas I just walk around outside and try to envision what certain things might look like if they were more... simplified and made shiny. lol It's hard to explain - Hopefully I'm making sense.
Q: What is your favorite item in your shop right now?
Sparkling blue/green elegant teardrop earrings
A: While I don't like to wear earrings this long myself, I can't help but fall in love with how they sparkle and move while they dangle.
Q: Is there another artistic medium that you would love to try but haven’t yet?
A: I really want to learn how to work with metal in a way that I can make my own bails and ring bases and other jewelry findings. Hopefully I'll learn this in my classes soon. :D
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects that you want to share with us?
A: Whenever I have the money to buy some mold maker, I am going to start making my own 100% unique molds! I'm really excited about it and I've already sketched out a few ideas for shapes I would love to have. New shapes will include mushrooms, owls, cats, and more! I wish I could say when in the future this will be, but I'm rather strapped for cash right now. D:
Q: Do you have any goals for this year you would like to share, relating to your art or your business?
A: I have a few goals, but my biggest is to establish a bigger local following. I've put a lot of work into my Etsy shop and I'm long overdue to put that kind of effort into 'real life'. I've started getting booths at craft shows and next on the list is to get some of my jewelry in the local shops. Sometimes I just feel like this is the year to seize to make sure that this all works out for me.
Whitney, thank you so much for providing us the opportunity to get to know you a little better!
Here are a few more of my personal favorites from her collection:
Love - Red Resin Pendant
I just "love" the vibrant color on this, and how it dangles on the diagonal - so cute!
Abstract Red White and Black Square Pendant
Great use of color -I especially like how Whitney used only the colored resins themselves to create this abstract design. It's a hard balance of blending them just the right amount without over mixing.
Resin Heart Pendant with Black and Silver Glitter
And of course, glitter! What a beautiful piece, using both different colors and different types of glitter for a really fun effect!
Don't you love her work? Well, you're in luck!
Whitney is offering all you lovely readers a special 15% discount for purchases made through her Etsy shop.
Just enter the code 13IOG at checkout.
Just enter the code 13IOG at checkout.
You can connect with Whitney through the following: