How to Melt Marbles & Make New Ones

Written by philippa jones
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How to Melt Marbles & Make New Ones
Marbles can be traced back to the Egyptians. (marbles image by cherie from Fotolia.com)

Glass marbles are small spherical balls of glass, often used for playground games by children. Marbles come in various sizes and in a spectrum of different colours. Melting marbles and reforming them into new marbles requires specialist tools, and knowledge or experience of crafting glass. Since you'll be working with a kiln and other unique tools, it is important you brush up on the method before you approach the task, to avoid injuring yourself or others.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Kiln
  • Iron Rod (glass blower's stick)
  • Graphite bowl
  • Graphite marble mould
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety goggles

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Heat the kiln to 1204 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature at which the marbles become molten.

  2. 2

    Put the marbles into a graphite bowl, then push the bowl inside the kiln. Wear the gloves and safety goggles while you do this to avoid burning your hands.

  3. 3

    Remove the graphite bowl from the kiln once the marbles have melted into glass. Don't forget to wear the gloves to do this.

  4. 4

    Hold the iron rod in one hand and dip it into the bowl of glass. Collect a nodule of molten liquid glass on the end of it.

  5. 5

    Turn the iron rod in your hand, by rolling it between your fingers. It is important to keep the rod turning to prevent the glass from dropping or solidifying in the wrong shape.

  6. 6

    Pick up the graphite marble mould with your spare hand. Hold the end gently against the nodule of glass, which is affixed to the iron rod.

  7. 7

    Move it in a circular motion to form it into a sphere. Press firmly enough to change the shape of the glass. This requires a steady hand and practice, so keep trying until you perfect it. If you don't achieve the desired shape first time, simply repeat the process.

  8. 8

    Break the marble off the end of the iron rod, once it has been shaped into a new marble and has hardened. Rest it on your workbench so that it cools down. This can take up to 72 hours.

  9. 9

    Repeat this process until you have created your new collection of marbles.

Tips and warnings

  • Try shaping the molten marble glass into other objects such as pendants or bottle stoppers.
  • Graphite marble moulds range in size from 10 millimetres to 22 millimetres. Make a range of sizes to vary your collection.

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