Some concern was raised during my practice pitch that the coasters may get damaged and/or stained whilst in use. To overcome this, I have been testing the possibility of applying resin to top of the coasters. Early on in the module I explored this avenue and had bad results - the resin I applied was think and moisture in the coasters caused bubbles to form on the surface, making the coaster unusable.
Further research led me to Epoxy Resin which can be applied in a thin layer and I have ensured that the coasters are completely dry and at room temperature before applying to avoid moisture bubbles.
The Epoxy Resin has proved successful in that a high gloss finish has been achieved. Although messy, using a foam brush the resin can be gently applied to reduce dripage.
Upon reflection, I have felt uncomfortable with applying the resin, whilst the finish is high quality, the overall aesthetic changes; the coaster becomes reflective and glossy and similar to many other coasters already on the market.
The raw Jesmonite and found materials are a unique quality of the coasters I have designed and made and this is lost when the resin is applied.
I am also conscious of the toxic and corrisive nature of resin, it is unpredictable and does not fit well with my ambition to use materials which are kinder to the environment.
Calculations suggest that the addition of Epoxy Resin onto the coaster will increase the cost price by 23p per coaster.
In addition, I am reluctant to make such a drastic change this late in the process which could result in damaging/ruining (!) the coasters I have prepared in readiness for the pitch to Found in less than 1 week. Similarly, my photography will not reflect the exact product which I feel is dishonest. Therefore, I have decided that it is best to stick to the coasters as intended. Jesmonite is a hard wearing material and can be dampened to wipe clean should any tea or coffee get spilt onto the coaster.
I am glad to have carried out this practice and I will continue to use the Epoxy Resin I have purchased to further experiment.
Should Found raise any concerns about the finish of the coasters, I will be able to talk about this process and offer the addition of Epoxy Resin as a solution should they deem it necessary.