Updated: Aug 9, 2022
This is in no way a hate post about epoxy. Epoxy can do wonderful things that Brite Tone cannot do (i.e. molds and deep pours). I still support resin artists and shop small all the time.
What this post is about is my personal journey and reasons behind my decision for switching products. There are many uninformed people out there not protecting themselves from harmful epoxy fumes and I was one of them. You don't know what you don't know, especially when there are so many tutorials out there with people not using PPE. But knowledge is power and now that I do know better I want to share my knowledge with others.
Now lets get in to my journey :-)
I feel like this picture right here really sums up why I made the switch from epoxy resin to Crystalac products. At the time this picture was taken it was early 2020, I had a newborn and we were about to be locked down in the house for MONTHS. I needed to be able to create inside around my family without fear of harming them.
I slowly made my way into the tumbler world late in 2019 when I was introduced to epoxy for sealing the tumblers I was making with vinyl decals. I thought the whole process was AMAZING and allowed my creative juices to flow to come up with unique designs. I was in love and hooked! I watched Youtube videos on how to make tumblers and try different techniques. I rarely saw the artists I was watching use any PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and honestly at the time I wasn't thinking anything of that because I had no clue that full PPE was needed to use epoxy. I spent a lot of money in the first few months on supplies for my new hobby and thought that I was being safe by working in my garage and sometimes in my studio at night while my kids were asleep upstairs.
What really made me question on if using epoxy to create art was worth it was a video by a well known DIY Youtuber named AuntieTay. Her video was of her crying and talking about her experience with epoxy and her reaction to it.
I started seeing these horrible reactions people were having to epoxy (rashes, hives, swollen eyes and body parts...even pets with burned or red paws) in the Facebook tumbler groups I was in. It's like everywhere I looked I was seeing the destruction epoxy could have to those using it even if they had been protecting themselves. I panicked and started researching on epoxy precautions and reactions and was MORTIFIED at what I was seeing. I learned that epoxy fumes can seep into its surroundings, into walls, furniture etc and that even if you've been working with it for a long time with zero reaction, your body can build up an intolerance to it and BOOM, one day you can't even be around epoxy without flaring up. Not to mention it can have super harmful affects to those around you, i.e. your family and pets, if you are using it indoors in a non ventilated area. I called my doctor and she told me that the fumes from epoxy could get into my breastmilk. I stopped using it right then and there.
It scared me that the harms of using epoxy were not well known in that time to the tumbler community (or at least that's what it seemed like).
I was reading yet another post on Facebook of someone having a reaction to epoxy when someone mentioned Crystalac. I had no clue what that was and decided to look into it because I desperately wanted to keep making tumblers but was so scared of the risks involved. I joined the group and decided to give it a try.
The Crystalac Company came into my life at the PERFECT time. I was sad about giving up epoxy due to lack of a proper work space AND we were going into quarantine where I had to help my pre-schooler/ Kindergardner with school work. I needed something that I could use safely, indoors without fear of harming myself or those I love. It's like it was the PERFECT time for me to switch completely to Crystalac products. I had already been questioning my use of epoxy and now I was stuck inside completely due to COVID. I dived in!
I bought some Brite Tone to try out and my first few tumblers were honestly a fail. Looking back I have to laugh at myself because I was so used to working with epoxy that I was stuck in my technique ( like dropping in alcohol inks and thick coats of product) but I loved that I could work indoors SAFELY around my kids. I kept at it and LOVED what I was coming up with.
There is a learning curve FOR SURE! You are almost at an advantage to using Crystalac products if you've never worked with epoxy resin before because you get to learn the techniques without any of the epoxy techniques/rules stuck in your head.
The biggest problem I've seen with people switching to Brite Tone from epoxy is that they are using too thick of coats and not allowing them the proper dry time and they get discouraged when their tumbler doesn't turn out right. At the beginning, I was guilty of this too. But PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
When I first started with epoxy I wasn't the best. Everything takes time and commitment to learn and with Brite Tone, I WAS COMMITTED to getting it right so I could continue creating.
Now it's been a year for me of using Crystalac products and I have a wonderful profitable business doing what I absolutely LOVE. Being my own boss and creating beautiful pieces of FUNctional art keeps me going. I've had so many creative adventures over the past decade and this is by far my FAVORITE.
Please stay around/subscribe to learn more about epoxy free tumblers/ small business stuff and even more DIY fun.
I have a lot of knowledge and would love to share it with YOU!.