Buying/Prepping the wood

The first step of my process is heading to the local shop to buy a piece of birch plywood. I need to make sure I select a piece that has nice grain, little marks, and is still very straight.

Before cutting the wood I plan out all my designs in SketchUp. This helps me plan what pieces I want to create, the amount of wood that I need for each piece, and I can make sure that I layout the board in a way that leaves little waste.

Once I am happy with my layout in SketchUp, I draw out each design on the board where my helpful husband Steve helps me by cutting out all pieces that aren’t circles (I’m not yet brave enough to learn how to use the tools other then the trusty router).

Once the pieces are cut I spend time sanding, filling holes, priming both sides, adding edge banding, sanding again, and then I cover the backside of the piece with tape and plastic to try and keep the back looking clean and fresh while resining.

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Once all the prep is done it’s time to resin. Resin has a very short period (30-45minutes) where it is moveable so you have to work quickly before it starts hardening.

I usually do 3-5 layers on each piece with the final layer always being a clear coat to really help bring out the depth and colors of the piece. I need at least 12-24 hours between each layer to ensure it has cured enough for the next layer to be put on top.

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finishing tasks

Once the resin is complete, I will remove any tape, make sure the back is clean, take photos of the piece and add them to my website. From there the piece needs to fully cure which takes 72 hours before it can be wrapped to ship.

Before shipping, each piece is carefully wrapped in kraft paper and bubble wrapped to make sure it stays in great condition while being shipped to it’s new owner.

In the end each piece can take between 3-5 weeks depending on size, complexity, etc.