It’s Raining and I’m Pouring Stingrays!

A warm, clear turquoise sea Is the stage of a beautiful scene, A majestic stingray ballet Paints a picture so serene. Like giant black butterflies Flying in a liquid sky.

-Paul Holmes

In March, I completed a commissioned pair of large dolphins cut from birch wood. I enjoyed making them so much, that I was anxious to start another similar project.

Living on Anna Maria Island, I sometimes see stingrays along the shore with their wings breaking the water. Intrigued, I drew and cut out a large stingray from wood. While cleaning up, I saw a small wood remnant on the garage floor. It was just enough for a baby stingray to accompany the momma. I couldn’t wait to pour and resin the two stingrays and share with you how they turned out. (Happy note: They were purchased very quickly.)

Supplies I Used

My Process for Pouring the Stingrays:

1. Once both the stingrays were cut out with the jigsaw, I sanded them on both sides and the edges. (I like to add a bit of a beveled outer edge because I like the look and feel.) At this point it’s important to decide which side is going to be the top so I can move on to the next step. I paint a base coat of acrylic paint on both sides and tape off the back so it stays clean and ready for resin later, this is optional.

2. I prep the work surface with a plastic table cover and a couple of wire racks supported by plastic cups so the paint would drain off the stingrays while they dry.

3. I fill each plastic cup about half full with each color and then added pouring medium, Floetrol, water (as needed for a good pouring
consistency) and gently stir. Lastly, I add a few drops of oil in each color and give a slight stir.

4. Next I pour paint from each cup onto each stingray trying to keep color placement similar on both mama and baby. I swipe the paint with paint sample cards and the cells magically begin to appear.

5. I apply the flame from my butane torch and it creates a few more cells, but hardly worth my effort.

6. After the pourings have dried for several days I gently clean them with a soapy sponge to remove all the oil that has come to the surface and then let it dry again.

7. To finish the stingrays I have the option of brushing on a water-based gloss acrylic or the more complicated application of a clear gloss epoxy resin. I decide to do the epoxy method below.

Optional: My Supply List for Using Epoxy Resin:

(Complete directions for using resin are included with the resin.)

1. Acrylic pourings…dry and cleaned of oil

2. Envirotex Lite Pour-on Resin

3. 2-3 Clear plastic cups for mixing and 4 cups for elevating the canvas

4. 2 wooden stir sticks

5. Disposable gloves

6. 3M Scotch-Blue Painter’s Blue Tape (I tape off the underside edge to protect from resin)

7. Spatula to spread resin

8. Butane torch or heat gun to eliminate bubbles

9. Disposable alcohol wipes for cleanup

10. Plastic to protect work surface

I begin the resin process by cleaning my acrylic pouring (silicone oil removed) and then elevate it on upside down plastic cups so the resin drips off the paintings edge. Next, I spread the prepared resin over the pourings. I monitor the resin for rising bubbles and use the torch to pop them. Let resin dry overnight and remove the tape from the back and enjoy. I love the surprise of seeing the dried resin the next morning. It is like Christmas!

Comments

  1. I have been snowbirding to Bradenton for 22 years and love to see the rays (from a distance!) and yours are lovely. I’ve bought a couple of things from you at craft fairs and look forward to seeing you again. Lovely work!

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