Tag Archives: iridescent rhinestones

That time I made mermaid jewels!

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I am continuing some fairly radical experiments with Angelina Fantasy Film and UV Resin.

I find working with iridescent and holographic materials so nourishing and stress relieving!

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 2I have been making all kinds of earrings and necklaces and delirious glittering sparkling shapes!

These pieces are made of translucent, layered, heat-sculpted Angelina Fantasy Film.

Mermaid earrings by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I make armatures of floral wire and colored craft wire.

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 with tattoos by Daria ReinThe Fantasy Film gets glued down to the fin-like armature with white glue – this is very tricky and doesn’t work consistently.

I think people who make fairy wings professionally- like for dolls- have more sophisticated techniques, like this hilarious Italian guy who uses an iron and Fimo liquid fusing gel.

Or you could use jigs to keep the wire armature flat. Then it would be much easier to glue down the film.

As soon as the glue is dry I use a lighter to burn, melt and shrink the Fantasy Film into curving, twisting shapes.

Once I have organic shapes I like, I start decorating the shapes with Swarovski crystals, jelly crystals, gradient pearls, and microbeads.

I use UV resin to attach the decor, sometimes flat to the surface of the warped film, sometimes skeins of microbeads floating above it in a transparent wave of resin. I use a wax pencil to pick up the tiny crystals and beads, one at a time.

It takes a long time! But I don’t mind. It’s mesmerizing and soothing to dot tiny rainbow bubbles onto a fin or wing of opalescent, changeant film. After I’ve added a good amount of decor, I start thickening and strengthening the Fantasy Film with drips and layers of tinted UV resin.

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 cuThe tinted UV resin adds hints of color, more transparent shapes, and strength in areas where the film is brittle or fragile.

Spirals of metallic purple wire make jellyfish tendrils and UV resin coats the strands with tiny beads. The detail is infinite! I cure the resin in sunlight, sitting on our balcony with all my little bottles of UV resin.

Mermaid jewelry by Suzanne Forbes July 2020 cu

Watching the materials sparkle in the sun is a great comfort to me.

And fiddly, absorbing work is good for my brain.

UV resin and Angelina Fantasy Film earrings by Suzanne Forbes June 2020

As my friend Gieza Poke says, when the hands are busy, the mind is calm!

Insect Art: Glitter cicada with holographic vinyl!

3D printer pen jeweled cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020Made with a 3D Printer pen I got from my mom-in-law for Christmas!

I broke out the 3D printing pen last week! It’s basically a glue gun that takes different colors of PLA filament. It came with fifteen colors. I used seven colors, darker ones on the bottom and going brighter towards the top layers.

This is the naked filament armature.

Then I took a ratty brush and painted the whole thing with blue-violet interference paint. You can see other posts about acrylic interference paint, which I started using in 1990, here.

3D printer pen cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020 rt wing detailThe last batch of art supplies I ordered from the UK, back in the other world that was February, was glitter, holographic, iridescent and metallic vinyls and pvcs.

I’ve been feeling a thirst to work with transparent and tinted clear materials the past month.My assortment of sparkly sheets arrived the second week of March. I cut small triangles of the holo pvc, applied glue to the edges, then attached them to the back of the filament “struts”. I filled in other spaces with scraps of textured lavender iridescent vinyl, some dark blue glitter vinyl I had left from my mermaid corset project in 2012, metallic blue pvc, and transparent blue glitter “jelly” vinyl.

Glitter vinyl cicada by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020“Jelly” vinyl is a thick, tinted vinyl, often full of glitter, foil stars, etc.

I covered most of the back with some actual trash – scraps of clear plastic cut from packaging, metallic blue plastic foil from the cat food packets. The glue I’m using is UHU Alleskleber in the Flinke Flasche (“nimble bottle”), which has solvents; in the US I’d use Gem-Tac. I left some areas open, and drizzled glue across others, then added decorations.

3D printer pen cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020 front windowI used microbeads, Swarovski crystals, opalescent rhinestones, iridescent rhinestones, glass pearls, clear rainbow micropearls, and glitter to decorate it.

3D printer pen cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020 libraryIt took about a week to finish all the decorating.

I find working with sparkly materials like this to be a kind of ASMR, deeply soothing and meditative.

During this really unprecedented time, when my husband and I are safe but I am so acutely aware of the danger to so many others, I don’t know what to do but make pretty.

I hope you enjoy the sparkle!