Being a physician and dermatologist, I have seen firsthand how epoxy resin can cause serious health issues. Allergic reactions to epoxy can result in irritated skin and/or respiratory problems. Irritated skin is by far the more common of the two. Usually, it appears much like a reaction to poison ivy and may include swelling, itching and red eyes. Just as with poison ivy, the irritation can be mild or severe, acute or chronic. Inhaling concentrated epoxy vapors, if done frequently or for long periods, can irritate your respiratory tract. Exposing sensitive skin areas, like the eyelids, to highly concentrated epoxy vapors may cause itching and swelling.
In this video, I show you what I do to keep safe while working with epoxy resin in my studio
Working with epoxy resin is like trying to control chaos, thus providing a formative substance that might be characterized as born entropy. There is an element of danger added as the fumes are sweet but deadly. The process begins with the mixing of the resin and its catalyst; a chemical reaction ensues and time becomes an important dimension in the work. The painting is planned, like a play, with Act I, Act II, etc. The painting you see represents the summation of many layers of chemical reactions, all moving with their own velocity to a final polymerized end.
The challenge is to control the flow of resin using heat, cold, wind, gravity and viscosity as artistic tools. Syringes, needles and a propane torch help move the resin. The paintings are temperature dependent and exude an organicity that defies their inanimate status. The polymerized painting portrays its temporal history as it captures the slow flow of resin. These paintings continue to move for hours after the resin is applied. The final painting can’t be visualized until a day after starting the painting , when all Brownian motion has ceased and the flecks of paint are trapped like a fly in amber. The painting you see is the final scene of a moving picture whose history is encoded in layers of resin.