Tag Archives: gothic rococo

Gothic Rococo Insect mirror number 4 in a series: is the creepiest creepy thing I’ve ever made?

I started casting UV resin in molds a while back.

I love resin, but casting epoxy resin made me so frustrated. Having to leave the molds undisturbed for a day was so hard for my addictive nature! Plus they always get cat hair in them somehow. Using UV resin has been such a great change. So I got a few detailed molds in July.

UV resin insect frame top by Suzanne ForbesI got moth, cicada and butterfly molds. Of course.

And some gem and jewel molds, and some actual crystal clusters in very stretchy sticky silicon.

UV resin insect mirror by Suzanne Forbes details cicada detail sept 2020Because you can quickly and easily layer UV resin, it’s a breeze to add inclusions of glitter, gold leaf, dichroic film and microbeads.

I really love the surprises that happen with casting resin – you don’t know exactly what you have until you unmold. I decided to use a bunch of the cast insects and gems to make the frame for a new Gothic Rococo mirror, and found a small oval mirror to use.

I formed a base for the mirror’s frame out of my usual bulk sculpting materials.

I use tinfoil, crushed and shaped, then stabilized with spurts from the glue gun, then sealed under epoxy clay. It is a fast way to get a lot of volume, and both sturdy and economical, because the expensive (and tedious to blend by hand!) epoxy clay is used only in small amounts. Once the epoxy clay was cured, I painted the whole thing hot pink, above.

Glitter glue gun glue! Hell yes!

Making UV resin insect frame by Suzanne Forbes.As a base for uv resin, it matches nicely and is even faster than resin.

UV resin insect frame left by Suzanne Forbes I went over the hot pink base with ribbons of blue glitter glue, which smoothed itself as glue gun glue does when you apply a lot at once. Then I covered the glue with blue and pink UV resin.

I didn’t know how the UV resin would work over glue gun glue. The interaction of plastics, which contain – surprise!- plasticizers, and resins, which contain solvents, can be very unpredictable. But UV resin, which is a photopolymer, doesn’t contain solvents. It hardens by cross-linking polymerization reaction, not solvent evaporation.

So it’s a different problem. UV resin glues like Bondic are supposed to be material-agnostic, suitable for use on anything. Is it archival? Who knows! UV resin as a consumer material is only a few decades old. I could have used an isolation coat of Mod Podge, but I was basically too fucking impatient.

Instead, I tested covering sections of the glue gun glue on the back and found that once a solid layer of resin was built up, it cured thoroughly without residual tackiness from chemical interference.

Once the whole front of the frame was covered in UV resin, I started applying molded insects and crystals, using the UV resin as an adhesive.

Gothic Rococo UV resin insect mirror gems by Suzanne Forbes Sept 2020There is no material in the history of the world that bonds more seamlessly to itself than UV resin.

Of course, it needs light to cure, so the light needs to be able to reach most of the resin you’re curing. But I find that if you hit the resin with a well-powered professional nail lamp, the visible part will set and spread the reaction well enough to the remaining part hidden under the thing you’re attaching. Yes, it’s a limited Ice-nine.

Gothic Rococo UV resin insect mirror with gems by Suzanne Forbes Sept 2020I attached the insects, gems and crystals with layers of UV resin, and studded the resin with mermaid pearls and microbeads.

This is one of the very few projects I’ve ever done that came out better than I could have imagined! It is fantastic to look at. I am glad to have made something beautiful at this dark, frightening time. People tell me beautiful things help them.Gothic Rococo UV resin insect mirror with glitter gems by Suzanne Forbes Sept 2020

Creepy Decorative Arts are my thing to make.

I have made several other Gothic Rococo mixed media insect pieces for household decor; links are below! I also want to credit AfroDisiac of Designs by AfroDisiac, whose work with UV resin and gentle encouragement really inspired me to start working with this material!

Silver lead and crystal insect mirror.

Gold leaf insect mirror.

Gothic Rococo pastel and pearls insect mirror.

Gothic Rococo insect boudoir stool.


Fire and Water Crowns: A Sacred Heart and Waves of Love for Queer Berlin

Fire and Water UV resin and holographic vinyl crowns by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I made these two crowns during June and July, which feels like a century ago.

I am continuing my materials experiments with iridescent and holographic polymers, from holo vinyl to Angelina Fantasy Film. As well as UV resin!

Fire and Water UV resin and holographic vinyl crowns by Suzanne Forbes July 2020The wave crown is made of holographic vinyl, cut into waves and shaped.

The vinyl is curved around a floral wire frame which has Angelina Fantasy Film melted onto it.

Fire and Water UV resin and holographic vinyl crowns by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 blueThen I added loops of wired beads and lots of opalescent crystals.

Experimenting with sparkling substances is something much closer to play than drawing or painting ever is for me.

Fire UV resin and Angelina Fantasy Film crown by Suzanne Forbes July 2020There is a fluidity in the process of using materials that are themselves changeant.

I also love not knowing what I’m doing or if it is gonna work! It may seem silly, but working on these projects allows me to access flow state or what Keats calledNegative Capability“.

A poet, then, has the power to bury self-consciousness, dwell in a state of openness to all experience, and identify with the object contemplated.

Gieza Poke in crowns by Suzanne Forbes June 2020I need to handle these materials, I want these beautiful items to exist, but I don’t need to keep them once they’re in the world!

So many of my mixed media projects this summer were donated to queer Berlin fundraiser raffles. I am adding value to the Berlin Queerconomy in every way I can!

Gieza Poke has done most of the raffles, on the live twitchstream of  Gieza‘s Poke House in Quarantine. She made awesome and hilarious videos to promote them! Beautiful Keili won the wave crown, which was so perfect! Gieza wore the fire crown for the last Quarantine show.

Fire and Water UV resin and holographic vinyl crowns by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 outsideYou can see the archive of the five months of quarantine shows, all of which were livestreamed, here, under the VIDEOS tab of Gieza’s twitch account,

I am so grateful for my Patreon Patrons’ support of my mixed media artwork, the place I feel safest with evolving and experimenting. It’s what I do instead of vacation 🙂 !

Fire UV resin and Angelina Fantasy Film crown by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 cu