"I've always had a passion for creating things," says Michele DiBartolo. "Usually it was more interior design or refurbishing furniture I'd find at thrift stores - dressers, vanities, chairs - and fixing them up cosmetically."
Three years ago, Michele (who manages Del Rio Salon in Blue Point by day and holds a Bachelor's degree in business from Briarcliffe), was restoring an old school desk for a friend, when she googled how to preserve the paper collage she had crafted on the desk's surface. Answer: Epoxy resin. While researching, she discovered that the medium was also used to create art and, inadvertently, stumbled upon her new addiction.
"I love the way the resin flows and shows a lot of movement because I'm inspired by the things we see around us daily - beach scenes, moving water, geodes, crystals, even galaxies. But I'm also inspired by the colors and flow we can only envision in our dreams and mind," says Michele. "You could say this art allows me to create my own fantasy dreamworld."
Creating that dream world at the start was often a nightmare. Michele suffered through years of trial and error - learning how to create different effects with additives and accounting for the cruel fate that variables like time, room temperature, gravity and viscosity could often wreak on her plans. "There's so much unpredictability to it. You might have control, but you don't have full control when you're pouring epoxy resin," says Michele. "It's kind of cool." Now Michele is able to to turn average thrift store items into multi-dimensional pieces with a glass like finish that can last a lifetime.
"There is no other way to be but focused when you are creating," says Michele DiBartolo. "The art has to take over and with epoxy resin you have to be focused because it hardens and cures so quickly... it's therapeutic."