Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sweet Release

Bead release that is!!

One of the numerous things that I have been working on is formulating a bead release that works for me.
What can I say - I'm a tight wad! Whilst spending money on glass isn't too much of an issue, I get really grumpy at having to pay high shipping for 'wet' bead release. Essentially I'm paying for the water content.

The first lot of bead release I ever bought was a powdered release from Australia. Whilst it coated the mandrels beautifully & was as smooth as silk, I found that when working on bigger beads it would flake or break. Of course in one of life's little quirks it was often extremely stubborn in releasing. It cleaned out of the beads easily enough, seemingly due to a high graphite content, but this also made it a messy release to clean.
The draw card was that it was supplied in dry powder form. This meant that the weight difference between premixed & dry, for the amount I was buying was approximately 650gms (almost 1 1/2 lbs).

Next was 'Alices' which I loved, it was tough & durable (I even made a 5" bead using this stuff) & I never lost a single bead to it. It released perfectly - all the release stayed right inside the bead holes, where it remained a stubborn attempt to resist most forms of removal.
It didn't matter what consistency I mixed it to before dipping the mandrels - it still seemed to run down the dipped mandrels.

What I was after was a smooth release that held it's shape when wet, dried quickly, was relatively smooth, cleaned easily & withstood the punishment I like to inflict at times at the torch.

A bit of research, some trial & error & I'm almost there. I've been using it for a while myself & I've noticed that it even holds up well when the mandrels have been dipped for some time before using them.

The real test, so I was informed, was whether it would hold up over the time & marvering it took to create a bead over 3 inches long. It was put to the test & passed quite nicely!


Deeply Dippy - or rather 'dipped'

I lost the tip in the mesh at the back of the kiln - oops!

Showing the thickness of the coating.

The Proof......

I don't have a photo of my extremely happy bead cleaner, who swears that this is the easiest release that he's ever had the pleasure of cleaning - but I think the fact that he doesn't even bother to get the rotary tool out & does it all by hand speaks volumes ;o)


angelinabeadalina said...

So, are you mixing different ratios of already marketed releases, or did you start from scratch and make your own? I am impressed, either way, because the hunt for a bead release that holds up is a tough one! I have a favorite brand, but I just did a transparent bead and am in a pissy mood about bead release. One that cleans out easily but holds up to lots of torching is the Holy Grail of Glass Accessories!

Deb said...

Hi Ang :o) Starting from scratch & making it from the various components. Just makes sense to me to provide the stuff in it's dry form, if it's going to be shipped anywhere & that's what got me started on this.....boy am I pleased that it did ;o)