Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review of Suze Weinberg's Melting Pot by Kathy Kirby

Review of the Suze Weinberg Melt Pot



Equipment required:



One melt pot (careful when unpacking as it is too easy to dispose of the lid accidentally when opening!)

Craft sheet (heat proof surface)

UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) in various colours

Beeswax – available fairly easily – I got mine in Hobbycraft

Tools – tweezers, METAL shapes, chipboard shapes, etc

UTEE Flex



I had wanted a melt pot for some considerable while and it had been on my Christmas and Birthday list for well over a year, without any success at all so imagine my surprise when a good friend arranged to have one sent to me! YIKES – that meant I had to learn how to use it! Well actually, it wasn’t as hard as I thought - except I got cocky (and lazy) and decided to order two additional project pans (inserts) so that I wouldn’t have to keep cleaning out the base pan! MISTAKE number ONE!! UTEE doesn’t melt at all well in the project pan, in fact it takes ages and will only just about get to melting point – which means a skin on the surface and everything cools down too quickly so you have next to no time to manoeuvre your project. A project pan however, works just great with beeswax. UTEE alone is a fairly brittle product (I know because I’ve shattered and had to re-melt numerous projects along the way but difficult it ain’t!) but you can buy a matching product called UTEE FLEX which you add to your melt pot and mix in with your UTEE and this allows more flexibility and durability to your finished project. The melt pot comes with instructions which basically say, remove all packaging, plug it in, add a reasonable amount of UTEE (i.e. one teaspoon is NOT ENOUGH!!!) to the pan, flick the temperature gauge to the highest setting (for UTEE, beeswax melts at a lower temperature) and BINGO you are ready to roll, put the lid on the pan and leave it alone for a few minutes . . . . . check back and if your UTEE colours have all melted then give it a swirl to merge some of the colours and get ready to pour!! Be brave . . . . there, told you it wasn’t hard – I bet it didn’t hurt a bit! To stir I use those fab wooden stirrers from Starbucks and Costa etc!!



A melt pot is just great if you like to experiment and get messy; if you like to keep everything totally under control and pristine then perhaps this is not the tool for you! You WILL get bits of UTEE where it shouldn’t be (but mostly it will just lift off and you can re-melt it in the pot – easy peasy) and you WILL get it on the back of your project (unless you are SUPER careful – not like me at all then!), but all this is perfectly normal and part of the learning curve. Clean up involves a bit of kitchen towel and a bit of pan wiping – again, not rocket science. When the melt pot is brand new you can usually lift the unused UTEE out whole – which is pretty cool! You can leave it in the pan and just add to it next time but if you want to use clear UTEE then it’s best to clean it fairly thoroughly. Provided you are prepared to make a slight mess and mix colours then you should find yourself having a ball. I have used the melt pot with numerous coloured UTEE’s and even got adventurous enough to put a couple of regular embossing powders in whilst I only had a couple of UTEE colours to play with. You can pour it randomly in to interesting shapes, you can put your cookie cutter on a craft mat and pour the UTEE in, you can push your cookie cutter in to poured UTEE (though you need to be fairly speedy this way round), and then you can push a pen or cocktail stick through it whilst still soft to put a hole in your project I’ve used Art Moulds and simply poured the molten UTEE in to it and then turned out once cold before applying perfect pearls. I’ve also added a grungepaper tag to the melt pot and once covered in UTEE have then pressed an inked stamp in to the tag and left to cool. Once its cold I removed the stamp and then added metallic rub-on cream and pearlex powders. Apparently, the designer of the melt pot recommends using silicon ice cube trays in to which you can just pour your UTEE!!! Once you’ve mastered these basic techniques and are confident then you can move on to something more adventurous.




Suze does excellent jewellery using the Ranger glass slide mounts, as you just pour your swirly UTEE in and let it set! How easy could that be???But I have yet to try this – I’m saving myself I guess!



I’ve also used the beeswax on a canvas which I had painted with a Ranger acrylic paint dabber, to give it a nice copper background (unless you dye it, the beesewax is translucent) and then used more beeswax to attach some mulberry paper, my stamped image, loose weave ribbon, silk flowers, beads, and UTEE shapes (made using an art mould from the Stamp Bug as they’re heat resistant). I’ve now got myself some clear UTEE and plan to use it in conjunction with my cookie cutters to highlight sections of my project. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your time, materials and imagination – so go have some fun!



Useful links:



http://www.rangerink.com/tips/tips_meltingpot.htm



http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=suze+weinberg+beeswax+colla ge&aq=f



http://www.rangerink.com/videos/browsevideos_meltart.htm



http://www.thestampbug.co.uk/shop/art-moulds-c-32.html



I guess the important thing you want to get from any review is “Would the reviewer buy the product again?” YES, I most certainly would! I give it 8½ out of 10

KathyK

5 comments:

Lauren Hatwell said...

Thanks so much for a really informative review Kathy. Great to see the techniques you have already tried.

I want one, I want one....Dear Father Christmas....I've been good (kinda...) LOL

Kathyk said...

You're very welcome Lauren and I do hope that Santa will be kind to you . . . . if you can wait that long!

Kathyk

Louise said...

FAB review- it gives all the detail I wanted. I never really knew what your melting pot was or what you could do with it until now.
Thanks so much Kathy!
btw. I think you have a future in the reviewing business!

Karen said...

Great Kathy, thanks for find thisd for us.

xx

Georgie Hughes said...

Very interesting Kathy. It sounds easy but not sure I would cope. The items you have shown are gorgeous especially those PURPLE buttons