Resin Art: Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall (Pride comes before the Fall)

Well, nothing dramatic, just the fact that sometimes things that started easy may not keep going smoothly. After the easy time I had with the first resin and opal ring I decided to make some more, one for me and one for my sister. Only this time I ran into quite some trouble and had to do both rings twice. The reasons for this are pretty much black and white. Literally. Those were the base colours for my resin. First of all, they are tricky colours to start with as especially white pigments tend to misbehave. And yeah, I got all sorts of different dyes. Then, of course, they turn the resin completely opaque, which means the UV light has a hard time penetrating the resin and curing it.

With my first attempt at the white one everything seemed fine until I started sanding and hit a layer that had not properly cured all the way down and the whole thing flew off. For the next run I tried a different dye and while it’s not the white I’d have preferred, it cured all through (though I also took the time to cure again after sanding down the outer layer).

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

It’s difficult to get a good pic here, because the steel will reflect the sunlight.

The black one had an additional problem. The opal came from a different seller and the pieces are smaller. This meant that in the first try they didn’t stick out like you can see above and I had to sand down inside the score. This ground the resin so thin it broke the first day of wearing. So back to the basement… In the second attempt I made the first layer thicker. While this stood the risk of sanding off the complete opal splinter, it also meant I didn’t have to sand down too much. I’m moderately happy with the result. The black turned greyish in parts and I’ll have to try a different dye again.

©Giliell, all rights reserved


  1. kestrel says

    Wait -- your ring blanks are stainless steel?! Holy cow… If that’s not a typo, please contact me so I can get you some sterling silver ring blanks! Or you could order them from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply, if they don’t make them any closer to you.

    These turned out very nice again, although I prefer the black resin over the white, personally. There is a type of resin that Rio Grande sells called “Colores” which is used in this specific type of application. It cures up extra hard if you get the right hardener compound (no UV light needed) and takes a polish really well. I can even polish it on the polishing machine that I normally use for metal. There are lots of different colors you can add to the resin. It’s kind of expensive but I’ve used it and like it very much, although in my use I’ve always had clear resin, or very little dye added.

  2. says

    Wait — your ring blanks are stainless steel?!

    Uhm, yes?
    I actually quite like them. They are nice to work with and really nice to wear. they’re also cheap now that I found a local supplier. Though looking at that Rio Grande Website my bank account is grateful for me not living in the states.
    I generally like working with UV resin for things like this because it allows you to be precise in your placement. If I need something THERE I can just hold it and use a handheld light. Only the colours make it somewhat difficult.

  3. kestrel says

    @Giliell #2: If you like them great! Sounds like they work well for you. However if you do message me, I’ll send you a couple of sterling silver ones and you can try them and see if you like them. I use them because of the channel, where I can put braided horsehair!

  4. says

    These look beautiful, that is for sure. But is the steel hardened? If yes, I would advise caution when wearing them. I have seen an interview with a physician on TV once who went off on a rant about the current fashion of hardened stainless steel rings. Because when a problem occurs -- like swelling of the finger, or the ring getting snagged somewhere -- they lead to grievous injuries (he described some -- I will spare you the details) and are nigh impossible to remove from the finger.

    I had no trouble believing him -- my mother’s finger got swollen once and the ring she wore cut off blood circulation in it. I had to cut the expensive golden ring with pliers to get it off before it gets really bad Hardened stainless steel of that thickness would be impossible to cut with small handheld pliers.

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    While you reached high up on the spruce, you didn’t fall into a juniper bush the second time (paraphrasing and translating a related saying). They look great.

    What would be the best material for rings, apart from gold and silver? I wouldn’t use German/nickel silver or any other high-nickel copper alloy, for the fear of getting nickel allergy. Pewter may not tolerate cold weather, so what’s left? Copper, brass or bronze? Aluminium (a lot of aluminium rings were made from aluminium scavenged from shot down airplanes during the trench warfare in 1942-43 by Finnish soldiers)?

  6. says


    But is the steel hardened?

    I have no idea. Unlike you, I’m not exactly an expert in all things metal. But I tried to find more information and all I got was “ERs are equipped with special ring saws to remove all kinds of jewellery”, so I guess they would be a problem at home, but not for the medics. It makes sense because they also have to deal with piercings, which are traditionally not made from gold or silver and often in far more delicate positions than a ring…
    I guess a ring snagging can always be a problem, but I don’t think that steel will make much of a difference here. If it’s a solid band of gold tearing or your finger joints my money is on the finger joints.

    I’ll shoot you a mail. I like the black one better as well, though I really think I’ll redo it with larger opal pieces and a different black dye. These ones have a channel as well and they do polish up nicely again after all the abuse during the sanding. And I do need a buffing wheel. After I got a drill stand…

  7. says

    @Giliell, well, I am not an expert on all things metal either, although I am probably more knowledgeable than Otto Normal.

    The rant that I was referring to was a few years ago and in CZ, so maybe there is a difference between CZ and Germany and maybe there was significant progress since then. I remember the physician saying that the injuries from steel rings (and other extremely hard materials, like tungsten carbide) tend to be worse than from gold or silver rings, but I forgot the details why and how exactly. He also said something along the lines that while removing the extra hard ring they might not avoid making more damage whilst removing them.

    I admit I have done zero active research on the safety of wearing jewelry prior to this, because I do not wear any, ever, I can’t stand it. I did not wish to condescend, It was just a cautionary tale from memory. Even the most careful and informed people can sometimes not see the danger of something that is mundane to them -- like wearing jewelry. And that includes me, of course, with regard to other things.

    So I performed cursory google search now (in CZ) and the most official info I was able to find was that ER departments here are NOT normally equipped to remove jewelry from hard materials and they might need to request the assistance of the firefighting department in such a case. There were horror stories in news to be found too. But I have no idea how often jewelry induced injuries do happen -- probably not much, considering how many people do wear jewelry regularly.

  8. Ice Swimmer says

    BTW, one trick for getting a ring from a swollen finger is by using thin enough thread (the kind that’s used for sewing) and wrapping it tightly around the finger in a helical, coarse corkscrew pattern, thus creating a screw thread on the finger. The ring can then be removed by rotating it like a nut on a bolt. My mom did this to me once when I was a kid and she said that it was commonly done in healthcare when she was working as a nurse.

  9. says

    Rob Piland, the jeweler who made my last set of wedding rings (ahem) explained why hard metals are a problem -- apparently if you are moving and the ring snags on something, it does not fail. Then the finger comes off, leaving a stub of tendon. Apparently this happened to one of his customers who was a skateboarder who did a barehanded push on a moving car. I still find his explanation implausible but I did find some unpleasant images on an internet search. Piland said rings should be thin soft metal and that carbon fiber, platinum, tungsten, stainless, damascus, etc -- were out. I thought that anyone who doesn’t take the ring off in a shop is crazy (I wear a small light gold earring and that is it!) apparently taking wedding bands off angers the gods.

  10. says

    Apparently this happened to one of his customers who was a skateboarder who did a barehanded push on a moving car.

    I think I can avoid that particular kind of accident. I don’t think it’s impossible to take off your finger like that, I still have a hard time believing that my parents’ solid 5mm gold band would give in such a situation. In the end, there#s always a risk of something nasty happening in a freak accident.

    I thought that anyone who doesn’t take the ring off in a shop is crazy (I wear a small light gold earring and that is it!) apparently taking wedding bands off angers the gods.

    Yeah, jewellery comes off, hair gets tied. Though the gods must be working extra hours because Mr never wears his wedding band (I think it has gone to Minas Tirith). I do wear mine when not working with killer tools, because for women it confers a +10 in repelling creeps.

  11. Jazzlet says

    I knew someone who lost a finger after the first knuckle as the result of jumping for joy while simultaneously throwing her arms in the air, her ring caught on a protruding nail and that was that for two thirds of the finger. She did this first thing in the morning and I’m afraid the lessons I took from it were to make sure there were no protuding nails around for anything to catch on, and to continue my deeply ingrained slow, grumpy waking up to a new day, rather than anything in relation to wearing rings.

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