I saw the Ranger Melt Pot demonstrated on Create & Craft early in 2013 and thought it was a lovely bit of kit – but the price, at the time, put me off buying it and so I put it on the ‘I’d like one of these’ list.
A fellow crafter mentioned that a craft store near her had the Melting Pots on special offer just for that week as well as free postage and packing. It was such an incredible deal that I ordered one straight away, along with some clear ultra thick embossing crystals, just to give me something to start with.
It arrived really quickly and although I unpacked it from the packing box I left it in its actual proper packing for weeks!
I think I was a little scared of it. It seemed such a major product . . . but after weeks of uhmming and erring … I opened the package and decided NOW was the time to put on my big girl knickers and play with this magical machine.
From the moment that I made my very first bit of Ranger Melting Pot magic – I was well and truly HOOKED.
“Hello, my name is Cobwebs and I’m a Melting Pot Addict.”
I thought that I’d developed some sort of super power which turned solid objects into a liquid. You pour a some Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel into the pot, put the lid on and VOILA! You take the lid off and where there was a solid matter there is now liquid magic.
I’d set myself up to make something simple … a tag or a topper. Small enough to not really care about making a total pigs ear of it, but something that I could use if it turned out to be a joyous success.
I turned the melt pot on, poured some crystals into deeper well part of the dish and put on the lid. It takes just a minute or two for the UTEE to melt into a see through liquid, at which point I took the bit of chipboard card which I’d already prepared. It was about the size of a business card – to which I’d added a chipboard bird shape with a little double-sided tape and ‘stroked’ a little teal coloured gilding wax (from Creative Expressions) around the edges of the bird and the card, as a sort of highlight.
I then held the chipboard tag in my tweezers and carefully, gently placed/dropped it face down into the melted crystals in the melt pot. I left it there for just a moment, then carefully lifted it out and let it drip for a few seconds, before laying it flat (on it’s back) on my heat-resistant mat.
I gazed at what I’d made and couldn’t believe how something so mundane as two bits of chipboard card had taken on a look of something really rather ‘arty’ and expensive.
I had a little test tube of tiny glass beads on my desk, and I opened them and added a few glass beads to the still wet liquid. Wow! … this was really turning out to be something quite lovely.
I waited until the tag had cooled and ‘set’, then picked it up, snapped off the dribbly bits around the sides and dragged the sides of the tag over the lipped edge of the hot walls of the melt pot pan – to smooth out the edges and make a clean-looking finish, and then dropped the tag, again, face down, into the pan again and gently pushed the back of the tag with my metal tweezers to ensure that the whole of the face of the tag was in contact with the UTEE melted crystals.
I picked up the tag with my tweezers and again allowed it to drip a little, then put the tag down on the heat mat to set. ……………… I looked at it and …. I was well and truly HOOKED.
The Melting Pot became a passion. I dipped things, poured the liquid on my heat-resistant mat and pressed rubber stamps (only use red RUBBER stamps – as most other stamps can’t be used) into the poured liquid. I used metal cookie cutters which I’d so far only used for polymer clay, and pressed the cutters into the poured hot liquid in order to cut shapes. I used glass beads; little wooden flat backed adornments; old, rusty looking metal sayings (such as: believe; TRUE LOVE; beautiful soul; wish … that type of thing) and everything suddenly took on a much more magical, amazing appearance. I coated paper flowers which I’d cut out using some Sizzix dies and they became something delicate, but so much more amazing than just paper flowers. I dipped leaves off silk flowers. I dipped a short length of cotton into the clear crystals and then carefully draped it over a Tag which I’d made, to add some more texture and depth.
The limit to what you can create with the Melting Pot is only the limit which your creative mind puts on it.
BUT … that’s not all….
You can colour the clear melted crystals – either with solid colours: black, white, blues, purples, pinks, greens, silver, gold, bronze …. by using ultra thick embossing crystals (I use Cosmic Shimmer brand).
You can add Melt Art Heat It Inks or (my own choice of liquid colourants) Cosmic Shimmer Melt Inks – either of these inks are safe to use in your Melt Pot inks. They’re especially made so that you can add these inks directly into your Melting Pot. Any other inks ..well I honestly wouldn’t know if they were safe to use, but I personally wouldn’t try them unless I’d checked with Ranger themselves first.
Inks + Melted UTEE + HOT Melting Pot = a possible dangerous happening. So don’t take chances.
Either of these mentioned inks will add colour, but leave your project translucent – so you’ll be able to ‘see’ through it, like you could see through a coloured piece of glass. But … if you add white UTEE to the blend then the colour changes to an opaque colour.
You can add ‘pearl’ ultra thick embossing crystals, which gives the translucent colours a special finish which looks like someone waved a magic wand over the project and the magic twinkles which came out of the end of their wand got stuck in the liquid and are held there forever more.
What other things can you make?
Rings … you can use silicone moulds to make flowers, roses work well. The liquid cools quickly – in minutes and you can then simply glue the flower to a ring base (which you can buy on Ebay or from various places which sell jewellery making items.)
Pendants … using moulds, or even simply pouring the UTEE out onto your craft sheet and pressing a metal cookie cutter into the hot liquid then leaving it there until it’s cooled a little (remember to poke a hole by pushing in a bamboo stick and holding it there – then once everything has cooled a little you can (while it’s just still warm) peel away the outer setting UTEE and push out the inner UTEE shape which you’ve made.
Or – you can use a bezel and make pendants like this one which I posted about in the Melt Pot category of my blog.
Adornments for your cards – again using Silicone moulds or fashioning things from paper, card, metal, wire or all manner of things – like these flowers simply made from shaped wire and dipped into the melt pot,
Or … how about some Christmas decorations … maybe some snowflakes … can you imagine the beautiful snowflakes you could make to hang off your tree using a mould like this one ….
….. although – these would look fabulous as card adornments – and the recipient would have a gift from you at the same time … a snowflake for their tree! What a great card for a neighbour or for teacher at school!
BUT .. the fun doesn’t stop there with the Ranger Melting Pot …
If you buy a project pan you can melt beeswax in your Melt Pot. You must buy this project pan though – as the melt pot without the project pan gets too hot for beeswax – the addition of the project pan cools the temperature down to just the right amount for beeswax.
You could use the beeswax to make art from (for example) napkins. Either make a canvas from a pretty napkin (single ply only – so separate the picture from the rest of the napkin, otherwise the napkin layers begin to bubble). Or … you could decorate a candle and personalise it.
You can also use the Melt Pot to cure Fimo!
There is so much that you can do with this fabulous machine and I’ve only touched the surface of its talents.
I whole heartedly recommend this crafting tool. But remember – just like you might have a microwave in your kitchen, or perhaps a potato masher maybe – you don’t use those tools every single day, so don’t expect to use your melt pot every day. You’re a crafter, and that means that you’ll use various things, papers, cards, tools and your melt pot, as and when you need them/it. And that’s ok to do that. You might not use your heat gun every day, but you bought it! You might not use your die cutting machine every day, but you have one and wouldn’t be without it. It’s the same thing.
Finally ... I just want to add that I haven’t been paid to make this recommendation. Nor have I been given any products or items; no machine (I bought my own); no UTEE crystals; no moulds, or anything. Nothing what-so-ever.
My recommendation has been made purely on my own experience of my own Ranger Melting Pot … or magic Cauldron (as I affectionately call it).
If you buy one .. then don’t sit and look at it for weeks, waiting to build up the courage to use it. Get it out of the packaging, read the leaflet and then make something. Just make something small. Nothing that is going to stress you out, and nothing that you’ll expect anything big from. Just make a tag or a card topper, or maybe a paper flower. Make something. Get used to it. But most of all …. USE IT. You’ll love it. OH… and the best bit? If you make something you don’t like, you can re-melt it and start again.
Fits my motto perfectly:
If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried.
Hey … it works for me!
Thanks for being here and for reading . . .