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Resin Jewelry Process: Fernworks

by Arianne Foulks

July 1, 2014
Fernworks logo

Fernworks! I first saw Faryn’s jewelry in a local art museum shop in Seattle and was instantly drawn in to her dreamy world. Imagine my surprise and delight when she approached me to design her website. Many years have passed since then, and it was time for Faryn’s first professionally-designed logo and a new website design. This time, Lauren Hardage on our team did the design work, and Chris McFarlane created the new design theme for her existing shop.

Fernworks’ redesigned website, by Aeolidia
Jewelry by Fernworks
Jewelry by Fernworks

Faryn’s work is so original and magical. I recently resurrected the Aeolidia Instagram account, and in doing so, spent some time on Faryn’s feed. I asked her to share the story behind some of her most interesting Instagram photos.

In the studio

Fernworks studio

I work on all my Fernworks creations in a tiny 8’x8′ hut in the backyard by our garden. I love that my workspace is its own little separate building. It’s very peaceful back there and it’s a great space for focusing on creative work. I also work with resin, which is incredibly messy, so it’s nice that I can (mostly) contain the mess out there. My husband and I also made a little 4’x4′ “room” on our porch out of plastic sheeting and 2x4s where I cut, sand, and polish all of my jewelry and paintings. That space is literally coated in resin dust and definitely not as cute! 🙂

Tools and materials

fernworks tools

This is an assortment of a few tools I use in making jewelry: Pens, markers, various pliers, found objects and more. My jewelry making process involves many different tools and steps. Each piece of jewelry is either a real found object and/or hand painted scene which I create with little brushes, pens, and toothpicks. They are cast in thick layers of resin to create a 3D effect. They are then individually cut out and polished. Over the years, I’ve definitely explored different techniques, materials and tools to find the ones that work best for me. (and I’m still experimenting!) I guess all of my work is the result of over 10 years of self-taught experimentation.

Earring cards

fernworks packaging

I’m always playing around with different display ideas. I usually try and create an earthy, natural space with lots of moss, stones, greenery, etc. since so much of my work is nature-inspired. You can mostly find me at indie craft shows around the country like the Renegade Fairs, Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle, or Crafty Bastards in DC. I also show work in more traditional “fine art” shows and galleries as well.

Layering process

fernworks layering process
fernworks layering process

It might be surprising how many layers of resin I have to build up on some pieces. Some paintings have 20+ layers depending on the effect I’m going for. And how after I pour each layer, I have to “babysit” them for a couple of hours until the liquid resin starts to cure or harden. I have to constantly move drifting objects around in the resin, pop bubbles, remove bugs and dust that settle on the surface, etc. It can be a pain!!

Power tools!

fernworks power tools

I majored in sculpture in college, so I’ve been using various power tools and mold-making techniques for quite a while. I didn’t have a specific background in jewelry at all. I didn’t start making jewelry until years later in fact. I’ve had to teach myself most skills along the way. I still think of myself as more of a sculptor than a traditional jeweler sometimes.


natural jewelry

I grew up on a farm in western North Carolina. I spent many afternoons there collecting little odds and ends that I found on our land like bird nests, feathers, interesting clumps of dirt, moss, leaves, bones, fur, twigs, bugs, and other tiny things. I continue that tradition of collecting and gathering in my paintings and line of resin jewelry today.

My work combines painted scenes and organic found ephemera with resin. Each piece is individually hand-painted with toothpicks, brushes, and pens, embedded in thick layers of resin, then cut and polished into delicate, dreamlike 3-D landscapes populated by birds, bears, foxes, and other creatures.

Find more Fernworks

Find Fernworks on Instagram here, and visit the Fernworks website here.

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