How To: Create Cells & Lacing

A common design that everyone tries to achieve in resin art is Cells or Lacing. This is a design that isn’t always the easiest to create, but when you do, can create gorgeous depth and flow in any resin artwork.

Creating cells is more than just about the tools or products you use, although some products will make it easier to create these effects. There are 5 common and fairly simple techniques that can be used to create cells and lacing in any resin artwork, and we are going to explain how, below.

Technique 1 – White Pigment: By using a high-quality and highly concentrated white pigment paste will assist in creating easy cells and lacing. We would recommend either the U RESIN Pure White or the Art Tree Creations Iceland White pigment paste. You can find both of these products available in our shop. These highly concentrated pigments, with the use of a heat gun or butane torch will help create cells. White is always the easiest pigment to achieve cells or lacing as it contains the heaviest fillers. These fillers will generally sink, allowing the remainder of the colour to move and stretch to create the cell effect.

Technique 2 – Clear & Colour Resin: When creating your artwork, before applying your pigment, pour a layer of clear (mixed) resin onto your artwork, directly where you are going to apply your colour that you want to cell. Once the clear is down, apply the colour pigment directly on top of the clear. Once the colour is down, apply heat to move your resin as you normally would to complete your artwork. By applying the clear down first, this will help the colours glide over the top and seperate the colour to create the cell-like effect. It is within the layers of the colours that will help create the effect.

Top Tip: when using a heat gun, use on the highest setting with the highest temperature setting and work in circular motions. The heat and fast movement will help allow movement of the resin and stretch it, to create the effect. It is very important to ensure you keep the heat gun moving and not stay in 1 spot (to avoid thinning out the resin too much and burning it)

Technique 3 – Butane Torch: Instead of using a heat gun, an alternative tool to use is a butane torch. A butane torch can be more dangerous as it is a live flame, so please handle with care and caution. There are different types of butane torches available, from small “creme brulee” style torches to large industrial ones. Any will work, but will allow for different movement. However, use what is most comfortable for you to work with. Use the torch in constant back and forth motions, hovering over the resin. (Again, don’t stay in one spot, keep the torch moving to avoid burning the resin.) A butane torch will create a different sort of cell effect to how a heat gun would.

Technique 4 – Tilt: Alongside the use of heat, by tilting your board will also assist in stretching the resin to create cells. When using this technique, apply your colours to your board, and apply heat all over the board to burst bubbles as well as warm the resin slightly. Then, with your heating tool, (either heat gun or butane torch) apply heat in a back and forth motion just below the area of colour you want to move, then tilt the board in the direction you want the colour to move over. By applying the heat below the colour, will allow the top colour to run over the top easier and seperate the colours to stretch it and create the cell-like effect.

Top Tip: do not over tilt your board, as this will encourage all your colours to move and potentially ruin a certain effect somewhere else on the board. You will get the most movement by applying heat and tilting at the same time.

Technique 5 – Swipe method: This technique can be used with a range of tools including: Plastic Filing blades, Popsticks, silicone stirrers or something as simple as baking paper. Once you have laid your colours down on your board, you want to gently glide the tool over the surface of the top resin colour and drag in the direction you want the colour to move. You only want to skim the top surface of the colour, and not drag from the bottom, removing all the resin as this will create gaps on the piece that will need to be re-covered. Just through this simple swipe motion, you will begin to notice cells forming. This can then be aided by heat (for best results, a butane torch) for further depth.

Using Pigment Pastes or the Art Tree Metal Powders will enhance the creation of cells in any artwork piece. Metallic/ Pearl Powders can be used, however because they are quite light and less concentrated than a paste, will not always create the best cell effects, however it is not impossible.

It is also best to work with a medium to high viscosity resin system, to create cells. The higher the viscosity the more the resin can thin out and stretch to create effects, however when working with a thin resin, it already creates a lot of flow and movement and does not allow colours to hold as well as a high viscosity system.

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We are a 3rd generation of family-owned business specialising in epoxy resin manufacturing and supplies. We are located in Perth, Western Australia, where we manufacture and distribute all of our resin products. We focus on three characteristics: Dependability, Customer Service and Uniqueness.

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