We visited the Marble Factory over spring break and watched the artists make some homemade marbles. That was incredibly educational but WAY out of my creative league. Perhaps someday when the kids aren't around and open flames aren't tempting fate.
I did purchase some neat marbles and a few odd shapes. I turned them into cracked marble jewelry.
Cracking your marbles is quite easy but here's my disclaimer. The marbles get hot. Really, really hot. Don't touch them. Don't burn yourself. Don't let kids touch them. Don't let kids play around them. If you get hurt or burned or something else bad happens, don't blame me. I warned you. Be smart!
And on with it! Take your selection of marbles, with a few extras, and put them on a cookie sheet.
Put them in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Yes, 450 degrees. Yes, 20 minutes. They will be HOT!
Take them out but DON'T TOUCH THEM. Immediately dump them all into a bowl full of ice water. You will hear sizzling and crackling. Resist all temptation to pull one out and look. It's still hot!!! Leave in the bowl for at least ten minutes.
After the time is up, carefully drain the water and test a marble. It should be cooled but MAKE SURE. They should be cracked on the inside! The outside will still be smooth but the inside is webbed with little and big cracks!
Make sure to inspect all your marbles. I had a nice variety of round and flat marbles. Some of the flat marbles had cracks on the inside that went all the way from top to bottom (or side to side!) You want to take those out of the mix because they are weaker than you want them to be. You only want marbles that the cracks don't go all the way down.
Gather a few supplies to make your jewelry.
I grabbed my pliers (round nose, nippers and regular pliers), some headpins, a few bead caps and my E6000 glue. I use E6000 glue and it's great stuff. . . . I've only had it fail once (sorry Claire!).
You will want to make some tops for your marbles. First put a headpin through a bead cap with the pin extending through the top. Bend it at a 90 degree angle.
Take your round nose pliers and add a little loop right at the 90 degree bend.
Use the E6000 glue and put a small dollop inside the cap. Place the cap on the marble and hold for a few minutes. It should be set enough that you can put it down after that.
E6000 glue takes about 48 hours to cure. You can either wait for it to be cured or do what I do. . . I put the jewelry together and then wait for it to be cured before wearing it.
To put the jewelry together, either add a snap bail to the piece to make it a pendant. . .
. . . . or add ear wires to turn it into earrings. They are a little heavy but not too bad.
You can also add a regular glue on bail to larger pieces to make pendants. Use the E6000 glue and glue the pad to the wrong (flat) side of the marble.
This is probably the easiest way to make your jewelry! Add a chain and you are done!
If I do it again:
1. I would do a few more of the large, flat marbles. I love this huge pendant!