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Featured Shop: Rosella Resin

Jul 25, 2012

by RosellaResin handmade and vintage goods

We are Jessica and Gwynne Burgess, two sisters from the small town of Seaforth, in Ontario, Canada. We cast eco resin jewelry, showcasing nature’s best and taking inspiration from the natural world around us. We work out of two studios 500 miles apart – in Seaforth and Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

Our process begins with high-grade silicone rubber, which we use to create molds of rings and bangles.

We then cast bio-derived eco resin in the molds, leaving them to cure for seven days.

Once cured, each piece is carefully finished by hand using multiple levels of fine grit sandpaper and other finishing tools to ensure it is smooth and comfortable to wear. The process yields a piece of wearable art and captures a moment in time forever.

Natural resin has oozed from trees for millions of years, forming beautiful amber while preserving ancient artifacts. It’s only been within the last century or so that humans have been able to synthetically mimic this process with innovative plastics technology. Resin can highlight in great detail the intricate folds of lichen or the petals of a flower. Using pigments and metallic flakes, we also mimic gemstones such as the tiger eye in faceted shapes. We use Entropyeco resin, which replaces petrochemicals with bio-based renewable materials.

Our multidisciplinary process uses both the right and left sides of the brain. You have to be technical yet artistic, focusing on all aspects of production and the details while staying open minded. There is an unpredictable aspect to the process. You never know how a piece will turn out, and each creation is truly one of a kind and impossible to replicate.

Coming from a small town, our earliest customer experiences always had a personal connection – you know the person you’re buying from. We love Etsy because it’s a community network as well as a marketplace. It’s about forming meaningful connections with your customers and fellow sellers. It’s about knowing the story behind the shop you buy from.

Today we’re seeing a revival towards knowing the person you’re buying from, which is great. People really want to see where their money is going and either keep it local or give it to someone they feel is worth supporting. You’re not just buying a great product, you’re buying the experience of an enjoyable transaction.

We like to get our supplies from small businesses doing interesting and innovative work. The items we put in the resin are sourced from places like Scrim’s Florist (est. 1864!) and Etsy’s Buffalo Girls. You can also see the influence from where we have lived, what we have studied, where we have worked. Jessica was first introduced to resin when she was living in Melbourne, and at first, she collected feathers from the beautiful parrots (including the Crimson Rosella, our namesake) to display in resin. Gwynne has taken inspiration from a variety of plant life and gemstones.

As sisters in a partnership, we’ve been able to grow and feed off each other’s creativity while living 500 miles apart. We push each other to see ideas and possibilities that, individually, we might not have explored, and we’re always pushing ourselves to learn more and improve the process. When it comes to resin, the possibilities are truly endless.

First photo by Dick Burgess, all others by Rosella Resin.

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