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HELP!!! Beads Stuck!

Q: I just came home from a wonderful flameworking class. Unfortunately, a number of my beads are "stuck" on their mandrels. We were using the new bead release that you dry in the flame. I think it was called "FPI"?? They were soaking in water for a few days. I brought them home on the mandrels and would really prefer that they become beads rather than plant sticks!

A: Ah yes... the infamous "Bead on a Stick"! Our local bead society just had a program on how to get your beads off the mandrel and there are several articles that are posted on the Society of Glass Beadmakers forum that you might find interesting. In addition to soaking they also suggest putting them in the freezer. Unfortunately if you used undue stress in putting the glass on the mandrel, you may have embedded the bead release so firmly into the glass bead that it will be impossible to get them off. Once the bead release is broken during the application of the glass, you have in effect fused the bead directly onto the mandrel. Using a heavy glove (to protect your hand) and a pliers to twist the mandrel might have some effect. Joan another issue worth checking is the condition of the mandrels. With heat and twisting especially at first, it is easy to put almost unnoticable "crinks" in the mandrel so when you try to remove the bead it acts for all the world like the glass to metal issue ...and it is stuck, but is is stuck in the bend which the glass just can't cope with when being removed. When you do get the bead off (often times broken!) run your finger the length of the mandrel and you may feel it. I have often been surprised to "feel" a tiny bend that I have trouble seeing! Now I check the mandrels each time after removing a bead to try to stay ahead of that problem and it seems to help! Meg is right absolutely right too, once the glass meets the bare metal it's for choice but to give it UP! lol! Good luck and hang in's worth the occassional bit of frustration! If I can be of any help, let me know on or off list....either if fine! As a newbie lampworker, I've had this happen. I usually have a dish of water handy for cooling tools, emergency in case of burns, etc. When I know I've broken the release loose and the bead is never going to come off, I just plunge it in the water...the glass shatters and comes off the mandrel (frit!).