Testing: Mama G’s Bead Release

Irene of FlamekissedGlass.com was so kind to provide me with a sample of her new “Mama G’s Bead Release”, so that I can test it.I’m always on the lookout for new products, and especially if they can make my bead making life easier!

I tested the new bead release in the last two days and I LOVE it.
I fell immediately in love after opening the jar of release … oh, the smoothness and the consistency!

The bead release is very smooth, has the consistency of a French style yoghurt LOL. I just had to add some water to get it a bit more liquid. There are no clumps in the jar, no clumps in the release, and no clumps on the mandrel, once you dipped it. Sweeeeet!

On the picture (top) it looks as if there’s a clump, but that was just me using my fingers to test the consistency, and I made a little “blobb” with my finger.

I used the air drying method, the mandrels were drying approx. 3 hours before I used them. All mandrels are 1/16″.

I made approx. 30 small to medium sized beads in different shapes (hand shaped into barrels and spacers, pressed lentils and pressed crystals) and had no breakage or problems whatsoever.
Additionally I made 6 large focal beads (4 large spree lentils, 2 kalera crunches). 5 beads were perfect without problems.

The last bead I abused to the max to see how long the release can go until it develops problems. I did my very best to abuse it. I pushed dichro inside of the bead around, squeezed and pushed the glass around, used the press 8 times. Only then the bead release started to give up, but not fully. It didn’t break completely – just on one side of the bead it crumbled away and there was some flaking visible inside of the transparent bead core.

Here is a shot were you can see the little bit that flaked inside of the bead and on one side outside of the bead:

There was an issue with one more bead, (bead release flaked off mandrel on one side), but that was user error: I didn’t align the mandrel properly while pressing.

After annealing, I could remove the beads easily from the mandrel (yay, that’s what I’m looking for) and the release cleans out fast & without problems. I use a Dremel, because I have issues with my wrist. The Dremel had no problems cleaning out the release. Woohoo – this is my biggest issue with my usual “go-to” bead release. It is very strong and hardly breaks at all, but as a drawback it’s very difficult to clean out. I am happy that Mama G’s release cleans out much easier!
Even the bead that had the breakage inside, cleaned out very easy. There was no bead release left inside.

Here’s a close up picture of a cleaned bead:

Today I did more testing, and had no breakage on my first batch of mandrels (air dried around 2 hours). I made 6 large focal beads, with dichro and shards, lots of manipulating of the glass. No flaking, no breakage.
The second batch of mandrels tonight I used with flame dried release. I did realize some micro cracks in the bead release while making the beads. However, the minor cracks were no issue because I made only spacer beads, and there was no breakage in the bead release.
I am not very careful while flame drying (fast & furious), so that might be the issue here. I will do some more testing in the next days to see if and how fragile the bead release gets when flame drying a bit slower.

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