Stage 1. Choose wood. We break it right. We burn on fire.

Hi friends, in this topic I will demonstrate the process of preparing wood and epoxy resin blanks for creating charcoal rings.

I'm using olive ash wood, which has a beautiful gradient texture ranging from light to dark with ashy undertones. Red palisander also pairs wonderfully with green moss, creating a rich appearance after sanding and treating it with tung oil. It's advisable either to skip the treatment altogether or lightly apply wax for moisture resistance.

For the most versatile and stylish combination with epoxy resins, black graphite is an excellent choice. When oiled and sanded, it becomes nearly black and glossy. This wood stands out due to its affordability, durability, and versatility in applications.

How to break a block of wood in order to get a beautiful scrap?

To create a neat and beautiful break, it's essential to trim the block slightly from all sides. Just a couple of millimeters will suffice for precise shaping. Regarding the length of the blank, it's recommended to leave about 4 centimeters for rings and 5-7 centimeters for earrings and pendants.

To break the blank, I suggest using three metal rods or something similar, like long bolts. Secure the block in a vise and place the rods strategically to create a fulcrum for bending the prepared blank. Tighten them until you hear the characteristic crack of the wood. This method is relatively simple and safe compared to using hammers or other heavy tools. The advantage is that it results in a clean break, allowing you to efficiently utilize even the smallest wood pieces and save on materials.

To finish the break, tighten the blank again in the vise and twist it manually to the other side. Make sure to pull the outer part upwards to maintain straight and vertical wood fibers. This process yields various blank shapes and patterns depending on the wood species, giving each piece a unique and intriguing character. Creativity plays a vital role in selecting the wood that best fits your vision.

We burn the blank for the ring on fire.

For creating charcoal rings, I use olive ash wood and burn the upper part until it's charred entirely. You can use a regular gas torch, but I prefer a birch wood fire for the enchanting aroma it imparts. On average, the charring process takes about 10-15 minutes. After cooling down, I recommend burning it again for about a minute to create a cracked charcoal effect and form a more textured pattern on the burned surface. To protect your hands from the heat, use pliers with long handles, and it's best to avoid gloves due to safety reasons. However, if you have fire-resistant gloves, feel free to wear them.

We paint the workpiece, we make an imitation of ashes.

Once cooled, the beautiful ash residue will fly away, leaving no visible traces when pouring the epoxy resin. To mimic the ash, we need to apply a thin layer of white acrylic paint with a brush. This method is incredibly effective and looks remarkably realistic, hardly distinguishable from actual ash. Apply the paint with gentle strokes, adjusting the intensity to achieve the desired effect - it's a truly creative process.

Our charcoal ring blank is now ready, and we can proceed to mold filling, followed by sanding and polishing.

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