Rev. 2003-05-03, 2005-01-27
I don't know much about making marbles, so this page will change as I do, but here are a few notes and a link.
Mechanically made marbles
Handmade marbles are typically made from a thick cane of a flat ribbon design which is given a twist and pieces are taken off and further cased over to produce a spiral of color or the cane has lines of color and when this is pinched off, a ball of color is formed with all the lines coming together at two points, like yarn around a core. Less commonly, marbles are treated like miniature paperweights with all the variations possible there.
Marbles are finally finished by turning them in a mold or against a curved edge and placing a punty repeatedly in different locations until the mark is mostly gone. Some people use a graphite or wood mold, while Art has said that since all that is needed is the edge (which seems to work for me) of a tube. I made my tube from conduit, grinding the inside edge to a slight bevel, since using a tube with a square edge really did not work for me. A second tube, larger, I made from 1-1/2" steel tubing
My biggest problem is the amount of heat they hold and the size of the punty mark. My jacks also leave a fairly ugly ring. Having a small punty mark is considered an acceptable flaw in a handmade marble.
The Summer 2001 issue of Glass magazine has a cover story on marbles that has a modest discussion of their history and making.
Mark Mathews is a stunning marble maker from the furnace.
Torch made marbles with links to other glass http://www.geocities.com/edmondmarbles/
Torch Made Marbles: http://www.getsirius.com/marbles.html
Drew Frits Marbles with links to galleries: http://www.freeyellow.com/members2/tms/
>I am doing a production run for an aquarium craft project and
Megamarbles "Vacor's current production is 14-16 million marbles a day"
Contact Mike Firth