Oh, mistakes…

I hope I’m not the only one out there who makes big fat, irreparable mistakes. (I’m specifically talking about mistakes in art—life mistakes are a totally different post!)

Last week I was working on some pendants as examples for my Narrative Jewelry class at Art & Soul in Virginia. Well, since I had the Ice Resin® all mixed and ready to use, I thought I should make as many things as I could, so I put together 5 pairs of earrings as well.

So the resin is mixed and the pendants and earrings are carefully balanced on level surfaces so they’ll cure properly. I pour and poke out the air bubbles, pour and poke and (as always) am totally amazed by the process. I set everything aside and go put together a vegetable lasagna for dinner.

Of course I check the pendants periodically to make sure no new air bubbles have come up. Everything looks really good, and I’m feeling pretty good myself.

Sara Naumann blog Divine Alchemy pendant

Sample pendant for my Narrative Jewelry class—no bubbles, yay!


Sara Naumann blog Notes necklace

Another Narrative Jewelry piece—one students can make from the components in their kit.


Sara Naumann blog Reverie pendant

A third Narrative Jewelry piece. This one is on a Scrabble tile. (I love the word "reverie"!)

Then, just before I have to go pick up Anna from nursery, I think to check the earrings. Now, the earrings are on ear wires, so I came up with a (genius!) way to let them cure: I used a piece of packing foam, and poked the ear wires into the side of the foam so they could rest levelly and not slide around.

Sara Naumann blog earrings

Ear wires are poked into packing foam. Genius! (Well, unless you spill...)

Well, they didn’t slide around. They didn’t slide around because they were stuck to the foam. Resin is a glue, you remember, and apparently I hadn’t noticed that some of it had overflowed a couple of the bezels—not the fault of the resin, or the earring, just a mistake that I hadn’t noticed.

Anyway—so the minute I realized some of them were stuck, I had to prise them up off the foam without disrupting the others. Now, the resin sets up after 6 hours, and it had only been 4 hours since I poured them, so they were really sticky but not unmanageable. So in my panic, I grabbed a baby wipe (brilliant!) and started to wipe some of the resin from the back of the earring. You may never have noticed the little fuzzy fibers in a baby wipe before, but my sticky earring did—so then I had fuzzy sticky resin on the back.

Sara Naumann blog mistake jewelry

A lovely pattern of resin on the back of the earring. This photo is after I frantically tried to remove it. Yes, resin is a glue.

And I had to go pick up Anna.

And the whole time I was trying to remove the resin, keep my eye on the clock, and noticing the UPS guy coming down the sidewalk and thinking please don’t ring my doorbell, I can’t answer it right now, I was kicking myself for not being more careful when I poured the resin into the bezel. Kick, kick, kick.

Okay, so here’s the status at the end:  Five pairs of earrings—with one ruined earring from each pair. Of course they were all different, too. They’re not unwearable…but they are unsaleable. So now I’ve got myself five lovely pairs of earrings. Actually, four. One of the earrings I accidentally touched the front part and basically squished my fingerprint into the resin. That’s when I said a lot of things I’m glad Anna wasn’t around to hear.

It was hard not to feel as though the day was wasted. I mean, that was my main project for the day and I blew it. And then I realized—well, the earrings are definitely not what I wanted, but my pendants did turn out just the way I wanted. And I’ll share the mistakes I made with my class so they can learn without learning the hard way.

Another thing? This pendant, made as a class example, is technically a mistake. I sealed the whole mini collage with Diamond Glaze, but I see that some of it didn’t take around the word, so it looks a bit mottled. And yet, I love it. So some mistakes are good! And others are…just, well, learning experiences.

Sara Naumann blog heart pendant

Another mistake, technically—but I love the imperfections here!

The really ironic thing? My vegetable lasagna—a recipe I’ve been tweaking and refining for ages—turned out perfectly! Sigh.