To seal or not to seal - The jesmonite question
Updated: Mar 16
Everyone remembers the first coaster they ever made. The first time of mixing and pouring and sending and sealing. I remember mine was square and chunky with blue and red chips. I wasn't happy with it but the whole process had me hooked!
But how did I get in the course of one year spent in lockdown from opening up my very first kit to having sleepless nights over how to get rid of air bubbles or should I use Jesmonite Acrylic Sealer or Penetrating Sealer? And how did I end up creating my own terrazzo sealer wax I named Seal&Shine? (Now called Seal&Glow - read more about it in the next blog entry!)
My first Jesmonite kit came from an Instagram famous artist, Katie Gillies who is an inspiring terrazzo surface designer. After making my first coaster I just had to make more! I knew that the more I make, the better I'll get and the more satisfied I'll feel with the end result!
Just like everyone else who tried Jesmonite once and got obsessed with it too. I ordered a bunch of generic moulds from China and slowly learnt how the pigments work in the liquid, how the cast behaves as it dries and how much frustration and disappointment a few tiny air bubbles can cause when it is finally time to remove the mould and reveal the final product after such a long wait. Airbubbles - I'll make peace with them one day.
The process is really kind of a magical and meditative activity. You start out with this silky smooth liquid, coloured with some super powerful, mesmerising mix of pigments and colourful terrazzo chips, that dries into a stone like piece that then you can use to decorate your home with it - it's magic! When you realise that the possibilities you can do with it are virtually endless - then you go and place an other order for an even bigger batch of liquid and powder than the one before.
I was right! The more pieces I made, the more pleased I was with my pieces. The more I experimented and let happy accidents to happen the better the results got. But something was missing. The finishing touch. A spark.
I tried many different techniques and tools but I could never sand my pieces as smooth to the touch as I wanted to, even when I used P3000 sandpaper. Or when a piece did end up feeling smooth, the Jesmonite Acrylic Sealer I used for waterproofing left it rough and sreaky, matt and dull. My pieces were looking better than ever and they deserved more than a dull finish! I wanted them to shimmer and feel nice to the touch. One day I found myself awake at 4 am searching the internet for solutions.
Then I had an idea.
I researched it, I tested it, I improved it and tested it again.
I was so excited to finally have a solution to the finishing touch problem that I had to share it with other creators too. So I decided to give it a name and a label, with packaging and start selling it on-line. I also promised myself to always believe in my product and never get discouraged if I get a negative feedback.
After selling the first dozen of the jesmonite wax I call Seal&Shine I received the first feedbacks and reviews from happy makers and creators. I was thrilled to hear that my product worked magic on their projects too and that they also had the same "finishing touch" issues like me before. Their support made me wanna have a little happy dance after every sale and each and every five star feedback gave me more confidence in my product.
I am just at the beginning of discovering how big the Jesmonite community is. First I found it overwhelming, as I found more and more beautiful creations on Etsy and scrolled deeper and deeper through so many talented creator's pieces that are showcased all over social media. Then I decided to give it a go and try to sell my own creations on-line. After receiving the first five star reviews and positive feedbacks about my products I started to realise, that Jesmonite is more than just a hobby we all picked up during lockdown, I discovered that there is a whole wonderful and creative community behind it. It's not about my business or my product against everyone else's. It's about providing creative solutions, support, sharing ideas, inspiration and the joy of creating gorgeous things - out of some liquid and powder.
What kind of jesmonite sealer do you use? If you are also looking for a better finishing touch to your jesmonite pieces, why not give Seal&Shine a try! I am now offering a sample size pot that is enough to try on a couple of pieces and see if this wax works with your projects.