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Thread: Casting and embedding plant parts

  1. #1
    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    UPDATED 28/10/2005

    Hi all,

    I have added photos of a couple of the nepenthes in resin before curing at the bottom.

    I am in the process of teaching myself to embed nepenthes, cephalotus, etc... in a clear resin.

    The first time i tried with one of my small lowii pitchers and a fly which ended in an abrupt volcanic eruption. I had mixed too much catalyst in the first layer and did not leave enough time for it to cure. I then applied the second layer. The reaction was not instant, however 30 minutes later the resin in the mould began to react and pour over the sides. You can imagine the shock. Hehe. I should have used a venus fly trap leaf and trap. I won't show the pictures as you will be utterly disgusted.

    My second attempt was some what amateurish but did result in a good specimen. I am still yet to add the final top layer. Photos as below. I apologise for the photos being large.

    Top view


    Side view


    As you can see in the side view photo. The bottom layer I added the catalyst and allowed the resin to cure for 10hrs (only because I was impatient). It appears that the catalyst has yellowed the resin. The middle layer I applied it without the catalyst and it resulted in a clear finish. I am still in the process of adding the top layer after another 12hrs.

    My main concern is how to preserve the color of the pitcher. The reason that during curing time, with or without the catalyst, the resin heats up and shrinks. The heat resulted in the discolouration of the cephalotus pitcher. The procedure suggests to apply the resin in layers to prevent this, however, I am also concerned that the viability of the plant tissue will be compromised if you have to apply the layers 12hrs between each other.
    Is there a resin that is slow drying and does not produce heat that resulted in the discolouration? Also one that cures in one go rather than in layers?

    Cheers,
    C

  2. #2

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    i want to buy some when you perfect it! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_k_ani_32.gif[/img]
    \"Nepenthes, the Devil's Cup\" - Santos
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  3. #3
    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    Hehe. I hope to donate some to the auction when I get a little better. I went out and purchased 10kg of resin today. It should give me enough attempts to perfect the method.

    If anyone in Australia would like to donate some cut plant parts for my experiment, please send me a pm.

    I am attempting 20 plant parts into resin, some are nepenthes pitchers others are cephalotus, sarracenia. I will try some drosera although I don't believe that the soft tissue will survive the curing process.

    Is there a heat resistant liquid that I could dip the plant parts in which will dry transparent?

  4. #4
    MadAboutCPs's Avatar
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    Here are 2 pictures of the 20 Nepenthes pitchers I have put in resin. They have not fully cured as I only added one drop of catalyst to the 125gram tub.
    The pitchers were placed in a dehydrator for 2 hrs on low to take out any moisture that may heat up while curing.
    In this experiment, the pitchers have been dipped in a heat resistant wax coating that will hopefully act as a barrier between the resin and the plant tissue. It dries transparent.

    Nepenthes alata


    Nepenthes alata


    Cheers Christian

  5. #5
    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    whatever happened with all of this? did you ever perfect it? also the picture links seem to be broken.
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
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