Decided to combine a few of the techniques and materials I worked with previously to make some little pots!
I have been saving plastic cups from bubble tea, hoping to reuse them when working on craft. On top of reusing plastic cups when mixing the jesmonite mixture, I thought I could try using the bubble tea cups and smaller plastic cups as a mould to make little pots:
I basically cut the bottom half of a bubble tea cup as the "outer" part, and the the bottom half of a smaller plastic cup as the "inner" part (the inner cup looks super messy because I've reused it multiple time to create terrazzo chips)
Of course, I need to do it in two steps, by starting just with the outer layer first to form a base, before putting the inner cup to form the sides:
This was for the concrete and resin piece - mixed blue pigment with concrete to get a blue colour. I was trying to recreate ice mountains, so I kept the top surface rough, and also painted a bit of white to have a bit of a snow-capped look.
Once the concrete set, and the paint dried, I pour resin , and added some pearly white pigments to look like clouds:
Inner cup is colourful because it was reused for terrazzo chips
After the pieces dried, I de-moulded them - required a fair bit of yanking and also cutting the plastic mould. The de-moulded pieces don't look super attractive, and have very irregular edges:
This was the Jesmonite Terrazzo pot fresh out of mould
This was the Concrete + Resin pot fresh out of mould - it's super clear / transparent (but I personally find that it looks a bit too "plasticky" for my liking - I tend to prefer a slightly matte finish)
Both pretty messy looking, and that's where the magic of sanding comes in - it reveals the terrazzo patterns, and also helps to smooth the surface and edges of the pot:
What wonders sanding does, right? It's much harder to sand the concrete + resin piece (it's harder to take off resin from sanding, and also to finish it smoothly, to get clarity in the transparent parts - cos rougher sandpaper will make the surface rough, losing its translucence). Hand-sanding (no tools used!) is no joke!
For the resin finish, I bought some polish and also a small tool to apply the polish - it helps to add a shine and get the surface clearer, but I don't think I've figured out how to make it super clear (thankfully that's not my style anyway - I prefer a slight matte finish so it doesn't look too plasticky and "mass manufactured", to me at least).
Here's what they look like with plants living in them (I bought a little Stephania Erecta bulb to live in the concrete one, because it felt like it was a mountain range waiting for a magical little big tree in the middle):
There are some little holes and scratches, but these imperfections make the pieces special to me, so I appreciate and embrace them <3
Duration: >3 hours (excluding the drying time in between)
Price: Bought my jesmonite from Concrete Everything, and TotalCast resin esin from Resin Play;
Level of fun: 3/5
It was my first time making something in a mould I DIY-ed myself, so that was pretty interesting (to try to imagine how I wanted the final piece to be, and find plastic parts to act as the mould. The rest of the steps built on the basic steps I've learnt in the concrete, jesmonite and resin workshop / kits, so it wasn't unfamiliar, but a good practice to implement them in a different format.
Level of difficulty: 3/5
The overall process wasn't that difficult - one will definitely end up with the little pots, just a matter of how perfect they'll be. The more difficult piece was the concrete + resin pot. A few things I had to overcome - I think the concrete hadn't fully cured (I left it for a number of hours, but less than a full day / number of days), so when I poured the resin on it, there were air bubbles slowly emerging from the concrete. I had to "poke" them, but I could only do it for so long (before the resin started to harden).
Also, the other difficult step was to sand the concrete + resin piece. Because the shape wasn't flat, and it was also quite large, it wasn't easy covering all the corners with all the different grits of sandpaper consistently.