Fused Glass Blob Beads

In my never ending quest to fuse all the things, I picked up a huge bag of glass globs at the thrift store. I’ve also heard them called jewels, and they look like flattened marbles. There are quite a few different colors, some irridized, but most not. There is also the possibility that some of the colors are painted, the reds and oranges in particular. That’s what makes this fun!

Glass Blobs
Glass Globs

These ones are relatively small, around the size of a dime or a penny. First I prepared my mandrels (dip them twice if your bead release is thin). Next I kiln washed my large lentil bead mold.


 

The blobs fit perfectly into the bottom of the mold with a mandrel over the top.

Fusing glass globs
Glass blobs in the mold

Just for fun I put an irridized cobalt blob with the plain cobalt blob, and mixed colors on the other beads.

fusing glass globs
glass blobs prefire

Then I fired them to a full fuse, it’s convenient to just put these bead molds in any empty spot in the kiln when I’m fusing other things.

Fused Blobs
Fused Blobs (and other stuff)

Just for fun I thought I’d throw them up on my lightbox with polarizing film and see what kind of stress is happening between the colors. Take note of the orange/red bead, it went completely opaque on firing, although it did keep its color.

fused glass blobs
Blob beads

I found it fascinating that all of the mixed color beads are showing various levels of strain, but the solid cobalt bead is pretty stable.

Immediately after taking them off the mandrel, several of the beads started to crack along the fused glass lines between colors:

crackedbluebead

fused mixed blue blobs
fused mixed blue blobs

I’m definitely going to do more of these, they are really fun, but I’m going to keep to one color per bead in an effort to have as many stable beads as possible.

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