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Crazed marbles

November 15, 2011

So I stumbled across the idea for this on one of my craft blogs.  Frying or cracking marbles creates internal fractures that sparkle the light.  I decided to try this with some flat bottom marbles and some round ones that used to decorate a fish tank.  Essentially you heat up the marbles and dump them into a bowl of ice water.  The key to this is creating as much of a temperature contrast as possible, so you want your marbles extremely hot and the water extremely cold.

The first time I did this, the temperature difference was not great enough and I got minimal fracturing.  The second time it did a bit better but the third time did the best.  That round, I heated the marbles in a 400 degree toaster oven for 40 minutes or so I think.  The ice water had been sitting out in our 20 degree temperatures so it was plenty cold.  I had to break through the ice that had formed across the top.  If you try this, use more marbles than you think you would need as a couple may break up completely.  Below is a picture of my results.

Upper left, minimal fracturing. Lower Left, more fracturing. Right (being corralled from rolling by non-crazed flats), the nicely fractured spheres.

close up of the nicely fractured spheres (corralled by the non-fractured flats)

As you can see the flats didn’t do so well.  They were also more likely to break.  The rounds look nice.  The light colors are more apparent than the dark.   Now all I need to do is pick up some pendant findings and I’ll have some necklaces to give as gifts for Yule.  I’m thinking about picking up some more marbles in light colors and see if I can get them even more crazed like the ones on the previous mentioned link.

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