Updated: Oct 13, 2022
In this (3rd of 3) experiments blog post, I'm sharing my experience (rookie errors included), using 3 brand new silicone moulds, and 3 different resins (or combos of), for each of these moulds. I say rookie errors lightly, since I've been using other types of epoxy resins steady for well over 5 years now, but it was my first time I have used these 3" deep larger moulds, and worked with such large floral castings, using these types of epoxy. I started all 3 moulds on the same day, and journaled my experiment process with photos, for those it might be helpful to.
In the smallest mould (6x6x3"), I used iCoat CE4100 HV (1:1 ratio) casting epoxy, 6 layers, and this mould resin combo are covered in a different blog post (part 1 of 3) link.
In the middle sz mould (8x8x3"), I used iCoat CE4100 HV (1:1) ratio casting epoxy, for the base layer to set the florals first, then I used the iCoat TP21 (2:1 ratio) casting resin in the following 3 layers. This mould resin combo are covered in a different blog post (part 2 of 3) link.
In the largest mould (10x10x3"), I used iCoat CE4100 HV for base layer to set the florals first, then I used the iCoat Depth (2:1 ratio) deep pour casting resin in the following 2 layers. This largest size mould is covered in this blog post (below).
***Important Note: If you are new to floral preservation casting using epoxy resin, this is NOT a beginner level project. It is important to learn more about, and experience some of the basics with resins, as well as with florals before attempting to cast one of these large floral blocks. Creating with florals in epoxy, has a few different challenges, then just using colourants in epoxy. Please click this blog link called, "Floral Preservation Casting (& Silica Gel tips) for Beginners", and plan to practice on some smaller items first.
This 10x10x3" floral preservation block piece was completed using
1 layer of iCoat CE4100HV epoxy, and
2 layers of iCoat Depth, from ArtWorks Resin Canada.
10”x10”x3” block style mould. This size mould holds roughly 166oz / 4.9 liters of epoxy resin total. Amount & thickness of florals organics may effect the volume slightly (so you may want to have back up moulds ready to use for any extra epoxy).
To see information about using the various ICoat casting epoxies, click this blog link called, "Floral Preservation Art Tips using various iCoat Epoxy Resins", and scroll down to section about the version of iCoat resin you will be using.
10"h x 10"w x 3"d floral block with iCoat Depth (deep pour epoxy)
iCoat Depth is a very low viscosity resin, and it does not require preheating, if epoxy is not cold (cold being about 60/15C to 70f). If it is cold you could set bottles in a bucket of hot water, until they have reached room temperature (roughly 75-78F), Always use an didgital infrared thermometer aimed down the neck of the bottles, to double check temperature. Guessing temperatures may not produce desired results. Using room temperature iCoat Depth will cast crystal clear bubble free castings.
I mixed the Depth for just over 4 minutes. You’ll know it’s mixed when there’s no striations following stirring. Scrape sides & bottom regularly.
Pour in to mould, wait a few minutes then pop bubbles. Then carefully place your florals in desired place.
IMPORTANT NOTE: With this epoxy resin, use Infrared thermometer gun, to check previous layer of epoxy in mould, to return to room temperature (or below 80F), before adding next layer.
Just like in previous 2 blogs with these blocks, (1st blog of 3, and 2nd blog of 3 links above), I used the iCoat HV (1:1 ratio) casting resin in base layer first, to set the flowers. Then I followed with 2 layers of iCoat Depth. Please review those links prior to this one.
Day 1, Sunday, 2:30pm
Layer 1, iCoat #CE4100HV 1:1 casting resin. 14oz / 400ml
Day 1, Sunday 6:49pm, checking to see if temperature of first layer is ready yet to add next layer. It wasn't quite ready yet, but by 8pm it was down to 82F.
Day 1, Layer 2, Sunday, 7:56pm, using iCoat Depth, (2:1 ratio) deep pour casting epoxy
Day 1, Layer 2, Sunday, 8:01pm, side view
Day 1, Layer 2, Sunday, 8:04PM
On this larger floral block, I used iCoat Depth (2:1 deep pour casting epoxy), on 2nd layer at roughly 1 3/4” to 2” layer. A big user error occurred 🥺, (I initially poured in mix cup as 1:1 ratio), then tried to correct in mix cup, but not sure I corrected to right 2:1 ratio as I was pretty tired Sunday night. 🤦♀️ I had too much extra resin, and poured this layer too deep, so it ended up going a bit thermic, but thankfully wasn't ruined. I would not pour quite so deep again next time, and of course be more careful with using the correct measurements.
Day 2, Layer 2 still curing, Monday, 7:29am (so no additional epoxy added on 2nd day).
Day 3, Tuesday, 8:04am, after 3rd and final layer added.
Day 3, , Tuesday, 8:25AM
Day 4, Wednesday 11:05am
Day 5, Thursday 10:14am, demoulded
Thursday, 10:01am Short video clip of this floral block
Initially, I wasn't going to post my rookie errors (in this series of 3 blogs), but I decided to go ahead, as they become a learning opportunity for others who may not have experienced these issues yet either. And it might be months before I have the time to put together another blog post showing process photos and information. Here's hoping the next one goes without errors. ;)
For information on top-coating floral block pieces, please see the blog post Top-Coating /Flood-Coating Floral Pieces with iCoat.
ArtWorks Resin Canada