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Dealing with Trapped Air Bubbles

 

This is part two of a multi-part tip on ways to repair or eliminate trapped air bubbles.  Click here to go to part one.

A second way to deal with trapped air bubbles is to use a drill press and core drill bit to drill down into the top surface of the glass until you reach the bubble.  This creates a channel that will allow air to escape.  After drilling the hole, re-fire the piece.  (In most cases a standard fusing schedule will work.) Air will be able to escape from the hole, and a few minutes of soaking at fusing temperatures will allow the spot to heal. 

 

This approach is not practical for pieces with lots of bubbles, but it can work well for pieces with only a few irregular or undesirable bubble.  However, be aware that drilling and re-firing tends to change the design, which can be a problem with intricate or detailed designs.

 

With extremely large bubbles, such as those caused by large air bubbles arising from an uneven shelf, drilling may not be necessary (especially if the bubble has very thin walls or has already popped on its own).  Instead, it may be necessary to fill the hole with frit prior to re-firing.  This will significantly change the design of the piece, but it's almost the only way to salvage pieces with oversized bubbles or holes.

 

Click here for yet another way to eliminate or prevent trapped air bubbles.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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