The Clearest Clear
The EVIE SKI world revolves around the interaction of light (photons) and clear materials (water, glass, ice, quartz, feldspar, chalcedony, diamond, corundum, the list goes on and on....).
Most of the gems I choose to source or cut myself are translucent because I love observing how light swims around the inclusions of the rock. Almost like a portal, the stone allows light to enter, but only selectively. Light may get clouded out by naturally occurring misty minerals or it could get cut up and bounced around by veils and fissures.
But mixing stone and metal can be tricky when you are dealing with fit tolerances way under 1 millimeter...
When the stone is ready to set into the jewelry piece, it is imperative that it sits comfortably within the metal, and that it also sits at the right height in comparison to the edges of the bezel (the metal walls that hug the stone). Some bezel wire actually has an inner "step" to allow for shallow stones to sit up high enough instead of falling down into the depths of the bezel walls.
Some jewelers create their own tiny step around the inner circumference of the bezel using scrap metal which can be very challenging, and almost impossible to keep out of sight when using a clear stone. Yes, you can also form the height and shape of your bezel appropriately, but you don’t always have that option!
Once the bezel and stone are matched, many jewelers will add a drop of glue or epoxy under stones (typically those with a flat bottom called cabochons) which helps prevent that sickening wiggle (you know what I'm talking about, it happens). The adhesive can actually act as a cushion when the stone receives impact (me, inevitably hitting my ring on something about 100x per day).
So I tested dozens of stepped bezels, failed at most fabrication methods, experimented with too many tubes of glues, epoxies and cements, and spent over 50 million seconds (that's 1.5 years) searching for something that didn't show through even the clearest stone.
After all that schooling, I found the all in one answer...
This is the only clear resin on the market that does not yellow over time, that is FDA-cleared to be food safe and non toxic, and that acts like an industrial adhesive, all the while keeping a gorgeous "wet" finish as it cures.
ART RESIN is a “clean system” -- this means there are no solvents, no reactive diluents, no harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), and no fumes that can irritate the lungs or skin.
It contains not one... but TWO anti-yellowing compounds
1. UV stabilizer
2. HALS (Hindered Amine Light Stabilization)
.....so as you sun bathe or moon bask, the color of your stone will never * change.
Mixing it is an easy 1:1 ratio of the two bottles (resin and hardener). It dries in 12-24 hours, hardens in 48, and fully cures in 72.
Since I use teeny quantities in comparison to other artists that use it for paintings, counters, and endless other large applications, I use basic syringes with mL markings and a 14 gauge tip so that I know I am mixing equal quantities from each bottle. You can reuse the same two little syringes endlessly so there is virtually no "consumables waste" involved!!! When the two bottles are all empty (half a liter will last me years at this pace), I’ll reuse the plastic bottles that ArtResin comes in as well!
For thin stones, I first add the resin mix into the bezel cup and let it cure. This creates a clear hard step so that the gem's thin profile can sit high enough within the mounting. Once cured, I add another tiny drop of resin for adhesion and place the stone.
If you have trouble with patience, this process will MAKE you patient!
*NEVER SAY NEVER! The oils from your skin and common chemicals in our daily environment can cause gradual to stark changes in some stones such as Turquoise and Jade and Opal!