Lampwork Etc.
Mountain Glass Arts

LE Live Chat

Enter Live Chat

No users in chat

Jelveh Designs - Glass Beads Torched One-by-One

Caber Light


Go Back   Lampwork Etc. > Library > Tips, Techniques, and Questions

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

Thread Tools
Old 2022-08-26, 6:13am
FosterFire's Avatar
FosterFire FosterFire is offline
SCIENCE Teacher!
Join Date: Jul 19, 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 2,129
Default Bead release & kiln wash=not the same, but..

Once upon a time, back in the Dark Ages the beadmakers of olde used kiln wash as their bead release. Did it work? Sure. Did it work well? Umm, kinda? Mostly. If you were experienced then it worked reasonably well, if you were a beginner then not so much. Say hello to your new plant sticks!

Some companies repackaged kiln wash powder as bead release, to make it more convenient to buy smaller quantities. Some of it was pink because kiln wash can be fired more than once. It was pink before it was ever fired, then turned white after one firing.

I have been making bead release for over 20 years now. I did a LOT of research and then had to consult a Phd in chemistry after I moved to Texas because the water was different. My daughter helps me, but we are the whole company unless you count the dogs. Oops! And my granddaughter sometimes puts on the labels.

Most of y'all know I am a full time science teacher. I have no reason to misrepresent any of the information I share. Bead release is not my living or my religion. You use whatever works for you.

In my opinion (as far as I know) Fusion is the toughest bead release. That's the dark gray stuff usually purchased from Frantz. The only downside is that the beads can be hard to get off the mandrel. Try heating the release to red hot, then quickly apply the drippy hot glass without pressing. If you do a lot of pressing then it will still be hard to get off the mandrel. Soaking overnight in cheap-o white vinegar will eventually dissolve the release (usually) but is not good for the overall life of the mandrel.

If you are a beginner then use the best bead release you can afford. It will make your life so much easier. I recommend my Smooth & Tuff. If you are on a budget (who isn't?) then I recommend FosterFire Heavy Duty.

The advanced beadmakers can use anything because they've been lampworking for years, but they also are practical and usually have a favorite. Just because they use it doesn't mean you have to, but be open to trying new things and finding what works for you.

If you have a question please feel free to post them here, and if I miss it for some reason then send me a PM. I get an email on the PMs and I'll make sure to get back to you.

One last comment: this forum is an awesome resource and is free but it sure doesn't hurt if you send in a few bucks to keep it going, and share the URL with other lampworking friends.

Happy torching!
Robin Foster - FosterFire
(fun fact - my daughter came up with the name FosterFire!)
Yes, I am FosterFire Bead Release.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 7:31pm.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Your IP: