Hand Tools Archive
Gloves should definitely be used with epoxy because it is the sort of thing where allergies can result, and it's a mess. Note that you rarely have an allergic reaction to your first contact with something.
Modifying the viscosity of epoxy is pretty easy, though you might need to experiment a little to get exactly the effect you want. Mixing in additives such as sawdust, silica, or microfibers is useful and gives varying properties to the hardened epoxy.
To get pure epoxy to thicken, measure our both resin and hardener carefully, but mix in only a small portion of the hardener into the resin. (You can also mix a small portion of the resin into the hardener if you want to thicken both.) This will react, leading to a more viscous liquid, and you can let the heat from curing dissipate. Now if you mix in the rest of the hardener (very thoroughly!), you will have a much thicker goo that will slowly harden into the same epoxy as it would have.
The difference between this approach and just waiting a bit after initial mixing is the heat dissipation step. Normally heat generated by cure will both lower the viscosity and speed the cure, so you have no time to work when it gets thicker.