Dre Fandetti: Mixed Media Artist

Andrea “Dre” Fandetti was halfway through getting her masters in occupational therapy when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and, like a lot of people, she found herself with a lot of time on her hands. Scrolling through Instagram kicked her creativity into gear and she started learning about resin art.

Dre was always a creative person, taking art classes and learning oil painting from an artist while in middle school. She enjoyed learning about colors and which ones work together. While attending Assumption College, studying for her undergrad in rehab studies and human services, Dre was taking all of the art electives she could, and spending over 10 hours a week in the studio.

Above: Dre Fandetti in her work space | Article by Leah Kossak, TotalBoat Social Media Coordinator

Above: A few of the first epoxy geode coasters Dre created

About eight years later, she picked up resin art while taking masters’ classes. She started off creating geode coasters and trays, but became especially inspired by Jess Crow, of Crow Creek Designs, and how she incorporates painting into her resin work.

Upon learning that Jess has a line of epoxy artist’s resin, MakerPoxy, by TotalBoat, Dre quickly found our Instagram page. When she saw ‘Bristol, RI’ in the bio, she realized she was just a 20-minute drive from TotalBoat headquarters. Dre came to visit our makerspace that day and switched to TotalBoat for all her epoxy needs.

“Compared to other epoxies I work with, TotalBoat is so much more clear. Color blending is easier when you have that clarity to start with.”

After graduating in May of 2021, Dre dove straight into learning more about epoxy. She started combining her love of painting into this new medium. Using thin layers of epoxy, she creates a 3D effect, most notably with her intricate, painted fish.

Above: The first few layers of TotalBoat MakerPoxy, with painted fish and lily pads

Above: The final piece, which became a table

At first, she used TotalBoat MakerPoxy, but when TotalBoat launched its UV Cure Resin, this became a game-changer for the 3D creations. Because it cures in just 10 minutes under a UV light, Dre is able to paint layers in a day, which used to take her a week.

Dre became a part of the maker community right away, mostly through Clubhouse, a social media app that lets people come together to talk and learn from each other in real time. Here, she met an encouraging group of makers sharing tips, tricks, and techniques on resin, and Dre’s knowledge continued to evolve.

Above: Dre participating in the Make48 event in Hartford, CT

She was thrilled once they were able to meet up at events such as Maker’s Camp in upstate New York, and Make48 events.

Above: Dre poured epoxy into the center of a metal heart fabricated by Alan Curboy, of @luckynailblacksmith

Dre also met her boyfriend, Lucas D’Angelo, of @mannmadeinma, who is very supportive in trying out new techniques and artforms, including metalwork. She transitioned from being an exclusive epoxy artist to mixed media quickly as she gained new skill sets.

“If it goes wrong, at least I learn something from it. If it works, then I’m still learning.”

Above: A piece featuring layers of TotalBoat UV Cure Resin, with acrylic paints and metal

While thinking of new projects, Dre’s always asking “has somebody done this before?” If there’s an epoxy technique out there, chances are she’s tried it.

Above: Roses cast in TotalBoat ThickSet Fathom epoxy

When TotalBoat ThickSet Fathom epoxy came out, she immediately jumped at the opportunity to try casting flowers. After learning through trial and error the complicated process of drying them perfectly, she has been able to create several colorful floral blocks with crystal clarity.

Above (L-R): An epoxy sunset ocean wave piece with black sand and shells; closeup of sand & sea shells

Using TotalBoat TableTop Epoxy and white TotalBoat Pigment Dispersion, Dre has also been a fan of learning the very popular resin wave technique, creating many beautiful ocean beaches with crashing waves.

“TotalBoat has such a wide range of products. There’s so much opportunity to try new concepts and ideas within the same brand and know you’re getting high quality with every one.”

Above: Dre’s setup while teaching a virtual class

As her skillset and reputation grew, a few people in the community on Clubhouse suggested Dre start teaching her own classes. As an occupational therapist, she teaches new and effective ways of doing things to people who have done things one way their whole lives. She says the same ideas apply to teaching different techniques to artists.

Dre preps for her virtual classes by sending out a materials list. Typically teaching one-on-one, they can set a time whenever the student has everything ready to go. She first explains the most important aspect of epoxy work: safety. She then launches into the process herself so the students are able to watch and take notes. And finally, they get hands-on while she does another demonstration. She finds that most people learn best when they’re able to ask questions as they’re trying it for themselves.

Above: The first rose Dre cast with ThickSet Fathom Epoxy (no pressure pot)

She always encourages her students to use TotalBoat epoxies, saying there’s a “drastic” difference. “I feel like TotalBoat just dominates the market. There’s all this information available on the website, so many resources to answer questions. If I’m not available for a question, I know TotalBoat will be. No other company compares to TotalBoat’s customer service.”

In addition to officially starting her career as an occupational therapist recently, Dre has plans to build a website so more students can reach out to her. For now, she’ll keep setting up classes with up to 15 people at a time through her DMs. She’ll also attend any future maker events she can. And we know, she’s just getting started in her creativity journey. To see what Dre’s working on, follow her on Instagram, @craftswithdre.

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