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Extreme Newbie Needs Help with Glass Bead Making.

Q: I just started to work with the great additcing craft of beadmaking. However, one thing is driving me INSANE!!! I have the mandrels dipped in the pink coating stuff and heat the mandrel above the blue flame. I don't press to hard on the glass. These beads will NOT come off.

A: Maybe your bead release is too runny, or it may need to dry overnight, rather than being dried in the flame. Also, you mention that you heat the coated mandrel before applying glass, which is good, but do you heat it for long enough? Have you ever tried 'sludge plus' from 'Arrow Springs'? In my (roughly three years) experience, that is THE best bead release in the biz. I have never, ever, had ONE bead stick. You can find them on the Internet at: http://www.el-dorado.ca.us/~flameon/welcome.html I think the problem is with your bead release. Another problem is that you may be breaking the bead release as you wind your beads on the mandrel, allowing the glass to come in contact with the metal. If you are pulling your glass instead of allowing it to gently flow onto the mandrel, you could be causing the cracks to form. I think the air-dry type of bead release is better than the kind that is dried in the flame. Hope you find a better release soon... you should be enjoying your new hobby, not stressing out over your 'bead on a stick'. BTW, they make very nice decorations for flower pots. I have a couple around here somewhere...*sob* I use a paste called "Sludge Plus" made by 'Frants Bead Co'. I have never had a bead stick. I used to use 'Kiln Wash', which also worked quite well. Don't despair! We all have these exciting little exchanges with glass! I have to give my "5th" to the sludge plus - it works wonderfully. Also, take care to be sure you don't let any glass flow over the edges of where your sludge stops - even a small bit of bead glass on uncoated mandrel surface can hold your bead suprisingly (and agonizingly) permanantly! You can also have trouble if you thin your coating soultion. They say it can be done, but I have had a couple run-ins with my beads (funny, I talk to mine TOO!) as I apparently got carried away with my thinning! Last but not least, I made a couple of beads that stuck into GREAT hairsticks! I just trimmed the mandrels a bit, and away I went with them in my hair! I will confess to it here, I never meant to do that, but I won't confess it anywhere else (I prefer to refer to those sticks as a design statement! LOL)!!