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Daily Wire Tip Oct. 15: Removing Clay from Glass Beads
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
October 15, 2010
Hello Dale! I recently obtained some glass beads, and they have a line of dust in the beading hole. What can be done to these glass beads to make them look clear?
-Rene in College Station, Texas
The dust we find in the holes of some glass beads is residue of whatever release agent the bead maker used on their rod. This material is used to coat the metal rod before the bead is made, and it will be easier to remove the bead when it has cooled. Lamp work artists take great care to remove this clay before selling their art, however, factory bead makers do not.
There are several ways to remove this clay:
- Under water: Use a piece of twisted scrap wire just a bit smaller than the hole to ream it out and then wash the beads in warm soapy water;
- In water: Carefully use fine diamond bead reamers so you don’t scratch the inside of the glass hole;
- Dry: Use pipecleaners, either single or folded in half, depending on the size of the hole, and then wash thoroughly.
With all methods, allow the beads to air dry, or help them along with a cotton swab.
I am sure that some of our readers are glass workers and will add to my suggestions as well by commenting below.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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