Kathryn Silvera pours heart in resin art


Kathryn Silvera torches the resin. Torching moves the pigments around, as well as popping the bubbles. Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

From concept to creation, Chico State alumna Kathryn Silvera crafted a swirl of light blue-and-pink hues and glittery rose-gold flakes right before our eyes at Chico Paper Company. Carefully measuring each pigment, grinding the flakes and torching the piece, she created three masterpieces with some help from the audience.

Silvera primarily uses resin, a clear, viscous liquid composed of hardener and gloss coats, often used as a top coat or sealant for paintings. She found the inspiration of using resin after her spouse used it for a project.

“My spouse did a project years ago of a bar top – a resin top,” Silvera said. “I did a Ferris wheel canvas at the same time in watercolor. I was thinking, ‘How do I seal it?’ I decided I would try it (resin), gave it a go and that’s all it took.”

Here’s how she described her process of creating a resin piece:

  1. Begin with a prepared canvas, either painted or gesso. Line the sides with electrical tape.
  2. Mix pigments to the desired color and add any dye to liven or diminish the opacity and opalescence.
  3. Mix the resin evenly in a one-to-one ratio. Equal amounts of hardener and gloss coats make up the clear resin.
  4. Mix together the pigments and clear resin.
  5. Pour the colored resin onto the canvas.
  6. Torch. This moves around colors and pops the bubbles within the resin.
  7. Add semi-precious stones, gold / silver / copper flakes, watercolor paper.
  8. Repeat if needed.

Silvera’s creations range from $41.80 to $2,800, depending on size and amount of time poured into the pieces. Smaller pieces may take a week or so to create, whereas pieces about five feet tall may take anywhere from a month to a year to complete. Silvera said that the resin takes about 24 hours to set, but waiting six hours to add a new layer is possible too.

“(Resin is) a super fun medium because you can do so much with it,” Silvera said. “You can put so many things inside the resin.”

Silvera’s newest series features oceanic-inspired scenes, including waves and jellyfish. 25 percent of any jellyfish painting proceeds will be donated to the Ocean Conservancy.

To view more of Silvera’s work, visit her Instagram at @KathrynSilveraArt and her website.

Julia Maldonado can be reached at [email protected] or @julianewsblog on Twitter.