There is an interesting style of jewellery, combining wood and resin. So called “secret wood” rings and necklaces are quite expensive, but people are still drawn to them, because of how interesting they look. Broken food fibres encased in a colourful resin look like there is an entire mysterious world, hidden inside of a small accessory. It really is beautiful. And, if you’re somewhat handy, you can make one at home.
Now, making it at home will not really save you money. Secret wood style requires a lot of resin and a tremendous amount of labour. So if you value your time, you should not consider making it in the first place. Peter Brown, creator of a popular YouTube channel, experimented with making secret wood rings and it is very interesting to see how he made them.
There really is no secret about technology of secret wood rings and other kinds of accessories. It is just broken piece of wood, encased in epoxy or polyester resin, mixed with some dye. Sometimes glitter is added or several colours are used, in order to make the ring look even more interesting. But this simplicity doesn’t really tell how much work goes into making one of these art pieces.
Peter Brown showed several of different methods of breaking a piece of wood. It is actually quite an important part of the project, because broken fibres cannot look too tidy, yet have to stop splitting at a certain point to make the ring strong. He tried breaking it by hand, he dried cutting a kerf with a bandsaw to make a sharp line, but eventually find the best results by using a simple vice. It allowed him to break a plank in a controlled manner, which produced the desired effect.
Then Brown did what he does quite often in his YouTube channel – pulled out his resin. He mixed up a match of epoxy resin, poured a couple of drops of blue dye into it and poured it into a mould with the broken plank. This was actually the easiest part. Usually when pouring epoxy you have to be very careful to avoid bubbles, but in this case tiny bubbles and “imperfections” actually just add to the illusion.
Afterwards the story was the usual wooden ring making – drilling a hole of appropriate diameter and a lot of shaping and sanding. That required huge amounts of efforts and time. Bringing epoxy to a clear finish it not easy, but in this case it was even more difficult and wet sanding was not an option. Brown finished the job with some plastic polish.
It is not the only “secret wood” project that Brown completed. He also made a woodturned bowl with polyester resin. It featured different shades of blue, making the illusion of the night sky. Looks quite cool, but that required a painful amount of expensive resin and a lot of time.
Original Secret Wood rings cost way over a 100 USD. According to Peter Brown, the price is justified just because of the labour it requires to produce such a piece of art. Furthermore, company sells some pretty cool effects, which would be difficult to replicate at home. On the other hand, it is very tempting to try – it would make a pretty cool present.