Fixing a Bubble
- July 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm #9658
I have just moved out of my “normal” jewelry design mode into making coasters. I started with four coasters – each two layers of glass 3 inches by 3 inches. I full-fused but did not do a bubble squeeze. Two of the coasters are perfect. The other two have one or two small bubbles – less than half the size of my pinky fingernail – but they are critically placed on the coaster in such a way that a glass would not rest comfortably flat.
When I was taking a glass workshop last year, a couple of students who were making larger plates had some issues with large bubbles forming on the glass. The instructor would “drill” a hole in the top of each bubble and then fuse the piece again. Depending on the size, he would sometimes have the students chip away at the raised part of the bubble and then lay a new piece of glass in the “hole.” Sometimes this procedure worked wonderfully well – other times not so much.
Has anyone had any experience with this technique? Do you think I could try it with my coasters? If so, would I use my dremel tool with a small diamond bit to drill the hole? Would it need to be under water while drilling?
Any feedback or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
BarbJuly 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm #12166Stephen RichardParticipant
My experience leads me to say that “drilling and filling” is hardly ever successful. There always is a mark where the fill has been made, often there is a colour variation too.
There is another possible solution: turn the whole piece over and take to just below full fuse. This will allow the bubble to begin moving to the “bottom” of the final piece. Then flip over, clean really well and take to a fire polish – quickly up from bubble squeeze temperature – with no soak to give a smooth surface, but not allowing it to get so hot the bubble comes back to the top. This will require observation to stop the temperature rise as soon as the surface is shiny.
As you already know, the prevention of inserting a bubble squeeze, is the best solution.
Stephen RichardJuly 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm #12167
Thanks for the suggestion! I will give it a try and see if I can salvage the pieces.
BarbAugust 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm #12168
Your suggestion worked great! I turned the two coasters over and refired and the bubbles moved to the new “top.” Then I flipped them back over and did a fire polish. Perfect!!
Thanks so much!August 3, 2011 at 7:39 am #12169
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