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Silver wire in beads question


Any suggestions regarding putting silver wire into Moretti glass
beads? Silver foil works well but using 26 and 28 ga. fine silver
wire (doesn’t matter if it is rolled in then covered with an
overlayer, dropped on and heated until it forms blobs or stuck
into the first layer of glass then covered over or left on the
surface) I’ve had 100% failure. Also doesn’t matter whether the
beads are cooled the usual way or cooled in an annealing oven,
if there is any solid silver in them they crack. Only way I’ve
found it to work is to melt and swirl it until it is just a fine
wisp, losing all solid character and turning dark in color
defeating the purpose of wire in the first place.

Am new at this and have never tried Bullseye nor borosilicate
glass. Would one work better or should I concentrate on technique



My guess for the beads cracking is that the silver and the glass
have different cooling rates. I am reminded of a cloisonne piece
I did. I incorprated a piece of square wire into the design.
The enamel near the piece of square wire cracked where it didn’t
crack near the cloisonne wire which was much thinner. My
suggestion therefore would be to actually try fine silver
cloisonne wire in your beads. It is extremely thin and flat.
It should show up well due to its width, but because it is so
thin, it may not affect the glass to the same degree.


Hans, Vembry has a good point rearding the cooling rates…did
you mention annealing the beads at all? perhaps, a more
controlled cooling process would eliminate the disparity in the
cooling ratio between the glass and the silver. A small kiln
with temp control and a timer might achieve this…just a
thought…I used to blow glass…annealing time was always

Lisa,(looking out of my window, watching a bobcat contemplating
a squirrel, contemlating a pinecone, while a hawk is
contemplating the likelihood of getting to the squirrel first,
without the bobcat nailing both of them), Topanga, CA USA


My daughter “borrowed” some of my silver wire to put in her
beads. She tells me the trick is to flux the wire, bring it
almost to the temperature where it will collapse, lay it on the
hot bead and immediately case over it with a bit of clear before
it has a chance to oxidize too much. She has had no particular
trouble with the silver embedded beads cracking, although she
does cool them rather slowly.