After a lot of practice, I cast some better lakes and better fish. I’m using a pearlescent acrylic paint on the fish body to give it a silvery glow.
I’ve finally reached that point in every keycap maker’s journey where they make goldfish keycaps. Though not an original idea, it’s a lot of fun to make and looks great on keyboards!
This was my first attempt at sculpting. Hopefully my future fish will look better.
After casting keycaps over a couple of months, I’ve finally finished my first bottle of resin. Now I’m trying out a different brand and realize not all epoxy resins have the same properties. I started with Unicone Art a couple of months ago and now am using Dr Crafty.
Here’s a comparison of the resin brands Unicone Art (left) and Dr Crafty (right):
|Epoxy Resin Brand||Unicone Art||Dr Crafty|
|Cure Time||18 hours – hard enough to work with, 24+ hours – full hardness||24 hours – still very pliable, 30 hours – hard enough to work with|
|Casting||Great for casting||More viscous and will not conform to certain complex molds|
|Clarity||Clear but small trapped air bubbles will make the keycaps appear cloudy||Crystal clear and fewer air bubbles|
|Odor||I couldn’t detect anything||Strong chemical smell from the hardener|
If you look closely at the photo above (and ignore the different dye colors), there are a lot more tiny air bubbles in the left keycap than the right. I let all resin degas before casting, but it seems like for Unicone Art, the air bubbles have a harder time making their way out.
I prefer strongly Unicone Art for its casting property and turnaround time. However, Dr Crafty is visibly clearer.
Maybe I’ll try to cast the bottom pieces with Unicone Art and the clear top with Dr Crafty. Will report back.
These will be the final star keycaps I cast. I’m pretty satisfied. Aside from different colors, there’s not much left to explore.
I might try to make a few lakes keycaps. I’m not loving the overall key design ’cause it leads to large air bubbles trapped everywhere.
It seems like everyone during quarantine is making keycaps.
If you’re looking to get started, there are lots of videos online. Here are my recommendations:
I use the same concept from video #2 to design my molds and actually cast with the technique described in video #1.
Here are my posts:
There are a lot of non-keycap resin artists with great videos for inspiration:
Artsy Madwoman is my favorite. She has a vibrant personality posts many videos on colorful projects
I’d been avoiding using paint in my keycaps and restricting myself to resin. I’d felt using paint was “cheating” and a slippery slope to where I’d buy tiny plastic figurines from eBay and plop them in pre-fabricated molds. All of the artistic challenges would be gone.
But it’s 2020!
So what if I’m making keycaps in easy mode. I should go easy on myself and my hobbies.
So here are some easy mode keys:
^ This one is actually all resin. I’m including it ’cause I like the colors.
Even though acrylic paint makes the surface a little more textured, the colors really pop. I actually like them a lot.
More acrylic keycaps to come.
It’s my favorite time of the year again!
Day 5 of Inktober
A random evening message from Harry