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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2017-02-01, 4:23pm
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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Default Baking soda beads help please.

Does anyone know how to make these so that the beads don't come out having HUGE, GIANT bubbles in them? I've seen these beads made with small to medium bubbles, but my beads usually have those and one or two humongous bubbles in with them. I've tried varying the amount of baking soda but that doesn't make a difference. Maybe I'm making the beads too large or using too much clear on them? Or working too hot?

I'm stumped. Any help would be really appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 2017-02-01, 5:56pm
ESC ESC is offline
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Tassie, it takes an amazingly small amount of baking soda for these beads to work right. If you can visualize how much pixie dust it takes to make a bead and divide that by half, that's about right. For a 1/2" bead, it only takes about the size of a pencil eraser and about 1/16" thick. The easier way to do it is to get the bead tacky hot and sift baking soda on as you roll it.
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  #3  
Old 2017-02-01, 8:09pm
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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Wow, that's a really tiny amount of baking soda, (way less than I've been using even when I cut down the amount - no wonder I've been getting craters!) Thanks for the tips, and especially about sifting it on, I hadn't thought of that.
Thanks for your help! Will give it a go.
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Old 2017-02-01, 8:43pm
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also working too hot and too long will do the same thing. The bubbles work their way up, so have a little near the small core and then encase as thickly as you can for the size you want.
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  #5  
Old 2017-02-01, 10:13pm
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Remember that this is a gas pressure pushing against the runniness of the molten glass that determines the size of the bubbles.

Hotter, runnier molten glass will allow the gas to push the bubbles out more while cooler, thicker molten glass will resist that push and limit the growth of the bubbles.


An other thought on figuring out how much baking soda to use;
I would take that tiny amount ESC mentions and scrape it into a very fine line to get it as thin as possible on a marver and then roll the molten bead over just the smallest portion of it and encase that.
Start with as small an amount as you can and work up from there.
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Old 2017-02-02, 5:02am
tassiebeads tassiebeads is offline
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Thanks, Kristen and Speedslug, for sharing those great tips and information - I'll be giving them a try first thing in the morning (my Friday morning which is still about 12 hours away, while you lucky folks are just waking up now and have a whole lovely Thursday of beadmaking ahead of you!

Thanks to you all again for sharing these techniques! Guess the main lesson in baking soda beads is "less is more".
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  #7  
Old 2017-02-02, 11:03am
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Another thought;

Try just playing with the baking soda on a gather of molten glass on the end of a rod with different amounts and different heat levels and see how it all reacts without having to worry about trying to keep it on the mandrel and / or in the shape of a bead.

'Play with the stuff' and give yourself permission to ruin it while you find out how much is too much and how little you really need.


The PPP should also include Play Play Play especially in the beginning of any new technique.
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  #8  
Old 2017-02-02, 11:44am
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Thanks for asking the question and all the great expertise! I would stick the hot bead in the box and roll it around, and would end up with such huge and numerous bubbles you could hardly see the colored bead core!
Thank you. This information is most helpful and I may try it again (with a lot less baking soda!!). Karen
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