With the growing flow art phenomenon alive and well, we here at ArtResin consistently receive questions regarding the interaction of silicone and resin.
Silicone oil is used as an art material in conjunction with resin and colorant to create cells—those beautiful ovular shapes that spill out randomly across a canvas, creating a surprise composition every time. It's no wonder this new art form has taken off like it has ... the results can be really cool!
We do not sell silicone oil from our website, however, for a couple of reasons that we think artists should be aware of ... and basically it all comes down to science.
1. Bare Spots
While they are certainly lovely to look at, cells are a result of the silicone REPELLING the resin. Fundamentally, this means the silicone is working against the resin. This goes for every brand of silicone or resin cell product (which are just silicone oils marketed as resin-related art materials), and every brand of resin. Scientifically speaking, silicone oil is resin's worst enemy in terms of resin adhesion and longevity.
If you are experiencing craters, de-lamination, bare spots, divots, or other weird things with your silicone resin art, the reason is the silicone. Those results are what can be expected when you mix a repellent in with your resin.
Likewise, if you are experiencing strange yellowing in your silicone resin art, the reason is likely that the silicone has compromised the non-yellowing properties inherent in ArtResin and is reflecting back a less-than-optimal yellowish tinge. Yellowing can also be caused by overtorching, UV light exposure* and in rare cases, other materials' reactions.
On the other hand, silicone can be resin's best friend when you want to create a 3D object by pouring ArtResin into a mold. Because silicone repels the resin and compromises adhesion, you can pull a beautiful cast out of a silicone mold with great success, leaving the mold to be reused again and again.
* If you'd like further details on how, in general, UV light makes epoxy resin turn yellow, read this blog on Which Epoxy Resin Is Best For Artwork. There you'll also read about ArtResin's UV and Hindered Amine Light Stabilization, aka ArtResin's chemical engineering for advanced non-yellowing protection.