Thursday, June 1, 2023

Resin, an artisan element that contributes to the local economy

From encapsulating the most emotional memory for a mother, which could be her first positive pregnancy test or ultrasound, giving a different touch to the floor of the home, to making fiber rocking chairs, are among the options available to take advantage of the resin versatility.

The resin is a liquid substance, somewhat viscous, thick and translucent, which after a certain time in combination with the catalyst (dryer) becomes solid. There are two classifications: natural and chemical.

To elaborate the works with resin, More than 30 years ago, it was necessary to import it from Miami, considered a world distribution center, or from Germany. This was stated by Lucas Ángeles, the artisan who has a career of more than 50 years working with this substance.

residence, with more than two decades in the market, is a company that distributes various chemical resins wholesale nationwide. Likewise, it owns an international company that also operates in the country, Dominican Resins, where they sell in detail, according to Jhon Palmer, a collaborator of the distributor.

The product with the highest demand is epoxy resin or polyester epoxy, because it is cheaper and more resistant compared to the simple resin. It is used to make marmolite, install granite, gas tank linings, fiber rocking chairs or sinks. The total drying of this substance takes from 12 to 20 hours.

By 2022, the epoxy was worth US$7.7 million in imports, according to the General Directorate of Customs (DGA). As for its exports, year-on-year growth was -93.1%, according to data from the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana).

In 2022 the alkyd resin in primary form, from the free zone regime, it was exported in the United States for US$8 million, Guatemala US$7 million, Costa Rica US$4 million, El Salvador US$3 million and Jamaica US$2 million, according to data from ProDominican.

In addition, in Jamaica, Nicaragua, Guyana, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago for US$1 million each. The total is US$29.8 million and an interannual growth of 34.2%. In this sense, ureic, melamine and phenolic resin do not register exports in reference to the aforementioned year.

The craft epoxy resin that is used to make crafts and to cover tables are classified into three sizes, such as: the 32-ounce kit that costs RD$1,780, the 64-ounce kit for RD$3,650, and the 128-ounce kit with a value of RD$11,820.

According to Palmer, the material used to make resin floors is not sold in the country, this is due to its high cost. Three years ago, polyepoxy resin was brought to the market, which was priced at US$300 per kit, for sale.

The General Directorate of Customs establishes that in 2022 alkyd resins worth US$3.2 million were imported, phenolic resins for US$400,000 and melamine resins for more than US$100,000. Likewise, urea and thiourea resins amount to US$1 million in FOB value.


Lucas Ángeles, an independent worker, narrates how he got to know this element with which he has been using for more than five decades. The works that he currently carries out the most are: the marmolite and natural granite tops. Angeles worked for 30 years in the Herrera sector in one of the first companies in the country to introduce these types of jobs.

To make an installation in marmolite, a mixture of calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide must be prepared to whiten the mass. The league of these elements is made in a mold, previously clean, which is usually straight or “L” shaped.

The process must be quick because the catalyst produces heating that turns the mixture into a stone and which can cause it to dry out on the hands.

Lucas Angeles

The pattern where the product is introduced must be integrated, the separator, which is a green liquid that turns into plastic, which allows the finished piece to be removed. Marmolite style sink countertops had their heyday or greatest demand between the 1980s and 2000s. Today, people prefer to use the natural granite, Angeles highlighted.

The costs of the granite tops have a value between RD$10,000 to RD$23,000 per square meter. It will depend on whether the material is Spanish, Brazilian or Chinese.

Lameth Báez, for her part, has earned her family’s livelihood using the resin. Mega fiber is the business where she makes fiberglass rocking chairs. Taking a mold, placing the fiber cloth to give it hardness, and casting the resin is the way to create this type of chair, Baéz explained.

He added that the materials used are 15% fiber cloth and 85% resin. In the case of the rocking chair set, which consists of four units of chairs and a table, the cheapest price is between RD$15,500 and RD$18,500.

Every day the resin is used by young people to take off in the world of commerce. An example of this is Sarah Alcántara, an entrepreneur in the art of this substance. She began a year and a half ago in the elaboration of this type of craft. It all started as a “hobby” learning through videos on social networks, while she practiced she had a “conventional” job.

Alcántara went from being a manager in a supermarket chain to leaning towards an artisan business. This put him on a scale and he decided on art. “When the resin came into my life I was able to have the opportunity to exploit that creativity and undertake”, he said.

“I worked for results for other people, but now I work for my own results,” said Alcántara, who says he is happy about this turn in his life.

Rose petals, photographs, lights and snails are the elements that he implements as decoration in his craft work. The most requested items are those with beach design details, such as those with Boca Chica sand. “They take a bit of Quisqueya abroad,” Alcántara said.

Some of the resin-based products that she sells in her business are: hair clips, which are priced at RD$345, pencil holders for RD$450, and key chains that range around RD$485. In addition, notebooks or agendas that range from RD$1,500 to RD$2,850 cost, as well as bookmarks that have a value of RD$395.

The high demand that the public had to know how the resin works led the merchant to give workshops, supplying her knowledge acquired through the training she already had in the matter.

The “Resin Induction” course costs RD$4,500, Alcántara said. His success is not only seen in the more than 13,000 followers on Instagram, but also in the smile and tears that his clients show on their faces when they receive the requested product. The artisan states that the reaction of her buyers is what gives her the most satisfaction in her work.

beauty sector

The manicurists They refer that this type is used similar to the application of acrylic, the difference is that the resin does less damage because it does not have a strong odor and the protection of the natural nail. The average prices to do this procedure are between RD$800 to RD$1,200.

natural resin

The natural substance is an element acquired through trees, mostly coniferous types. An example of this is Amber, the almost orange-yellow gem, it is a resin hardened by time and by geological processes that is extracted by the hand of man from the subsoil.

Its composition consists of a complex mixture of various resins, succinic acid and a volatile oil. Its general formula is C10H16O, with a low proportion of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), according to the General Directorate of Mining.


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