Large Bubbles in Soft Glass (Moretti/Effrete) - beadmaking


First - distinquish between BUBBLES and "scum" - bubbles are big and float around and pop open on your beads - that's a bubble. If you have tiny foam - that is scum... see Clean Rods

Original question:
<< I have another question...... I use Morretti and Uroborros glass. I have
noticed that the Morretti rods bubble, some colors worse than others (i.e.:
the teal). And it's hard to get these bubbles out of my creations
especially when there is a lot of them. I don't notice this with the Uroborros.

Is this common with Morretti? And that some colors have more than others?
Or could the batch of rods it got be defective? In an odd way it is relaxing
to watch the bubbles pop out of the rods but it is annoying when they won't
pop out of my creations. >>

VERY common with White and the color Teal (transparent) that you are
referring to - and happens with other colors also.

The cure - more heat. (except with a Hot Head - which won't cure the problem in teal - see comments at end)
The transparent Teal can be really nasty looking when you start heating it- but in my experience MORE heat is better than less - it seems to drive the bubbles out -and you can end up with a great bead.
If you use too little heat (thinking - "less heat and don't make bubbles!)" -
you end up with a scummy mess in that particular color. It is very
disconcerting to INTENTIONALLY boil a color - but with the dark transparent teal - that is exactly what I do - boil it until it clears....
I believe it is the chemical formula that causes it in the teal. In the
white , and other colors, it is a combination of bubbles already entrapped in
the rods and some chemical reactions.
Other causes....
A DAMP mandrel will cause bubbles - make sure your bead release is always
very dry. Make sure you have PRE-HEATED the bead release on the mandrel to a soft glow to drive out any dampness and chemical reaction fumes.

I find that the white reacts more to some bead releases than others - making
larger bubbles, be careful to ensure that you have thoroughly heated the bead
release to at least a soft glow before applying the glass. I believe some
chemical burn-off occurs with the release... direct observation and
experimentation has show this must be the case.
Glass applied directly to an underheated bead release quickly develops
I think this is one of those things that only experience will guide you -

I have found I have LESS of this problem in general with the FUSION brand
bead release.(no association - just an endorsement <G>)

As for getting rid of annoying bubbles - move the bead so that the flame touches ONLY the surface of the glass just above the bubble you are trying to remove - this heats and thins the glass above it - causes the bubble to expand, rise, and
pop. A quick stab with a tungsten pick sometimes helps a stubborn bubble...

I'm not sure you're talking about Teal or Dark Aqua? The color that
Mike Frantz sells as Teal (91-026) doesn't give me any problems at all.
However, his Dark Aqua (91-036) has all the characteristics that you and
Cheryl have described. I agree that it's pointless to use that glass
without an oxygen torch.

Now, to add to what Cheryl said about the "heat" - I also agree that IF
you let it get bubbles, the only way to get rid of them is to super heat
it. However, I've found that if you don't let it cool too much, it
doesn't develop the bubbles in the first place. By that I mean, apply
the Dark Aqua and then keep that color pretty hot while you're working
the rest of the bead or marble. As long as it doesn't cool off, the
bubbles don't appear. However, if you do let it cool off too much and
then decide to go back and reheat it, you'll see bubbles erupt from
nowhere! Just my 2 cents.

Drew Fritts

IF YOU ARE USING A HOT HEAD....... - not a mixed fuel torch....
that may be part of the problem.....

You won't have much success with the teal transparent on the Hot Head... not hot and clean enough a flame.... it will be scummy and nasty.I seemed to have more bubbles in white using a Hot Head and MAPP gas. I think it is due to the fact that the Hot Head is NOT as hot as a mixed fuel torch, and that the bubbles expand slowly and are more difficult to drive out of the glass than with the hotter flame of a mixed fuel torch. Additionally - it crossed my mind that the fuel (MAPP) may be reacting to the glass ... but I have no data on this.

You will also eventually discover the difficulty with working the opaque turquoise colors, petroleum green, and sky blue -these have a bad habit of turning black and shiny (oxidation) in the Hot Head flame. With a mixed fuel torch the solution is turning the oxygen up higher, something you cannot do with a Hot Head.
Alabastro and opal colors also tend to turn smoky in the Hot Head....
experience.... sigh. So what's the answer???? Time to move up in the world to a bigger torch.<G> Cheryl