These are a close-up of a set of magnets I made to donate to the Clarion Write-a-Thon efforts. They’re made from one of the keyboards donated to the Datamancer/Clarion Keyboard project. Specifically, they’re from Walter Jon Williams’ keyboard. I’m going to make a second set as well.
To make these, I started with bottlecaps that I’ve been saving. You can buy new bottlecaps for projects like this, but I think part of the charm is in reused items. I cut circles of art paper for the background and glued them down. Then I mixed the resin.
I may have said before that mixing the resin is actually a bit tricky. You have to measure it exactly, using tiny disposable graduated cups that of course do not come with the resin kit and are not sold in any store. (Fortunately, my dad gave me some.) Then you have to pour both parts into a small disposable cup, but not a waxy dixie cup. Then you stir it with a clean stirring rod. Then you pour it into a new clean cup, and use a new clean stirring rod and mix it again. Then you pour it into your mold. In my case, the bottlecaps.
One of the problems with this is that the keys are hollow underneath, and I had to insert them into the resin at an angle to get the airbubbles to leave. Sometimes the resin poured over the side, and it’s quite sticky, so cleaning it takes care. After I finished pouring the resin, I realized I had enough left for a few more bottlecaps, so I quickly cut out and glued more paper before the resin cured. I left the resin to cure overnight. I don’t know how long it takes, but if you touch it before it’s cured, it will leave fingerprints, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
After the resin cured, I mixed some metal epoxy to glue the magnets to the back. One thing I love about making these is that you don’t need any clamps for the epoxy. The magnets hold themselves fast to the back of the bottlecap on their own. I do have to make sure they aren’t too close while the epoxy is curing, or they will fasten to one another. I would have preferred clear epoxy to this battleship gray epoxy; I used it because it said it was designed for metal, and I thought it might have a different chemical composition.
The magnets, and other donated swag, are going to be rewards for people who raise money for the Clarion Write-a-Thon this year.