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Dealing with Trapped Air Bubbles


Once an air bubble has been trapped in glass, it can be very difficult to remove.  Most potential solutions will change the look of the piece, and all will require at least one (and sometimes more than one) additional firing.


One option that sometimes works well is to simply flip the piece over and re-fire.  While this won't get rid of the bubbles, it does change their shape and appearance.  This approach has the best chance of succeeding if the bubbles in your piece are pea-sized or smaller.  Re-firing will sometimes cause them to change their shape or move around slightly.  With luck, this will improve the look of the piece.


Of course, flipping and re-firing will change the orientation of the piece, so it's often necessary to flip again and re-fire a second time, with the original side up.  This process will definitely change the look of the piece (often making the finish more matte in appearance), and it is prone to devitrification, so it's a good idea to use a devit spray if you re-fire more than once.  Also, take special efforts to make sure the piece is well-cleaned between firings.


To summarize, flipping and re-firing can help when you have small bubbles that are randomly scattered throughout the piece, but it won't work in all cases.  And it will definitely change the look of the piece.


Click here for more suggestions on ways to deal with trapped air bubbles in your pieces.


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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