I fell in love with Amado Gudek’s Fallen Trees jewellery collection when I first saw it in 2016, and I got a pair of earrings for myself back then. I remembered asking if there was a workshop where I could learn to make them, but Elaine, the founder of the brand said she didn’t have one at that moment. A few years on, she started Resin Play, and I joined a workshop to make Resin Seascape jewellery. To my excitement, she recently organized a class to make Fallen Trees jewellery ❤

What I loved the most about the Fallen Trees collection was that the wood came from Singapore’s fallen trees – the fact that it’s somewhat “extending” the life of a part of nature, coupled with the knowledge that I am wearing a part of something that stood somewhere here in Singapore for a long time made it a beautiful story to me.

The workshop was split into two parts – the first day, we selected the wood off-cut pieces (yes, still from Singapore’s fallen Acacia trees!), trimmed them, and also mixed various resin colours to pour them into a mould:

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Demonstrating how to place the wood in the silicon mould, then mixing and pouring the resin
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My workstation – the 2 pieces of wood I picked, and the blue mould for us to do test pouring (I poured in the small butterfly, ladybird, and later emptied my remaining resin into the watering can)
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The two wood pieces I trimmed to fit into the mould
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I mixed a whole range of colours – looks like a rainbow!
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My 2 pieces: on the left, I wanted to do some sort of a blue sky with some swirls of the galaxy; on the right, I wanted to do some sort of a sunset /sunrise against a green field + mountains. Expectations vs reality don’t always match up :p 

We had to wait for a day for the resin to dry, before coming back to the second day of the workshop where we cut the two blocks into pieces to craft into jewellery.

I had mixed different shades of colours in the resin, some of which had very different weights (the white pearl powder for my galaxy swirls), so when the resin set, it was a surprise how things turned out (I guess for the pros, they’ll know how it’ll turn out, but for beginners, surprise is what it is :D).

Both sides of the blue piece turned out with different shades of blue and looks, which I was at first not sure about (I thought it looked bad), but ended up falling in love with after processing them. The orange turned out a lot brighter than expected, so it looked a bit more like a forest on fire (vs a sunset) haha:

The first step was to saw the blocks into different pieces, and it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with them (and therefore what shapes I should cut them into)

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Finally landed on a pair of earrings (green and orange), and a pair of necklaces.

The original resin parts of the pieces were glossy, but the end product was designed to be matte, so that it better matches the texture of the wood. To achieve that effect, we spent most of our time sanding the pieces with different sandpaper.

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WIP: sanding helps to “trim” the pendents into smoother shapes (because my sawing skills aren’t that great), and also create that matte surface
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After sanding the side with the pearl white swirls, it ended up looking different, somewhat like clouds, which I really love ❤  Sanding is no child’s play – we spend more than an hour doing it, and one of the students sanded so hard that her fingers bled a little (she accidentally sanded her fingers as well oops)
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About done! After using sandpaper with 4 different levels of coarseness and lots of arm strength + patience

After finishing the pendents, we rubbed some wax to protect the wood, then drilled little holes to insert screws that would hold the earring hooks and necklaces, and voila, we were done!

I really loved them, and couldn’t stop thinking about them, so I took more photos of them outdoors after I walked out of the studio – they looked to pretty in the sunlight <3:

Remember I mentioned the test pouring into the moulds of different shapes – here’s what they became:

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The white pearl ladybird was too shiny, so got overexposed oops! A fellow student had a lot of leftover resin which I poured into the gap /”drain” around the perimeter mould, and it turned out to become a cute frame for everything!
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All the sanding left wood particles (technically, some sort of earth) under my nails and around my fingers. Reminded me of this memorable Singapore Armed Forces slogan from more than a decade ago – “The mud on my face is soil, our soil.” In this case, “The mud on my fingers is soil, our soil”?

Details of the workshop

Duration: Two 3-hour sessions over two days – those who were decisive with their designs / had simple designs finished earlier!

Price: $235 for the entire workshop, including all materials and refreshments

Level of “fun”: 4/5

I loved that we got to work with two different types of materials (wood and resin), and for those who are creative and love to design, it’s a wonderful opportunity to play around with shapes and colours! Albeit tedious, the sawing and sanding was somewhat therapeutic as I slowly got to feel the transformation of my resin wood pieces.

Level of difficulty: 3/5

One of my weaknesses is that I am not great at making decisions (a common theme across all my projects), so it took me while to figure out the colours and shapes. Thank goodness I personally love nature, and that usually inspires me in my pieces. Elaine, who was conducting the workshop, was also always on hand to offer tips and recommendations if you really don’t have any ideas!

The pouring of resin itself wasn’t difficult, but to achieve the colour mix exactly you had in mind was probably a challenge to most. Nevertheless, the outcomes of how they turned out tended to generally be a pleasant surprise.

Finally, the sanding was not difficult, just required time and patience (and some arm strength). Most student complete sanding up to about 2 pieces during the duration of the workshop (and do the rest at home) because of how long it takes. I was very fortunate to have completed all my pieces within the session (although I was the last to leave).