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Minimizing Trapped Air Bubbles

 

This is part two of a two-part series on minimizing trapped air bubbles.  Click her to visit part one.

 

4.  Support the edges of the glass with small beads

 

This is especially useful for large glass sheets. It involves supporting the edges of the glass with tiny, nugget-sized, pieces of glass (sometimes called beads). Use glass that is the same color as the base glass. Place the pieces in several different places along the outside edge. This will give the air additional room to escape. Also, make sure you go slow enough so that the glass can slump from the center out and the air has time to escape.  And remember, even clear beads will leave a trace behind, so design your piece to take advantage.

 

5.  Another approach is to plan on two firings.  This works well for pieces that have three layers, with glass (such as dichroic) or an inclusion trapped in the middle.  For the first firing, put the middle pieces flat on the kiln shelf with one layer of glass on top.  Fuse this, then flip the piece (so that the middle layer is now on top), and place your final, top layer of glass above.  You may get a few bubbles, but they will tend to be smaller and less noticeable, and you won't get bubbles around the edges of the trapped inclusion.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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