A friend of mine recently told me about the fun time she had in making these.
And thanks to her Pinterest, I found the original link which you can find right here at Nikki Lynn Design.
Her directions are really great and simple on how to make a Crackled Marble Pendant using an oven set at 500 degrees F.
I had been wanting to try this out since Thanksgiving when I bought some marbles at The Dollar Store, but I didn’t want to use our electric stove last night because it takes forever to warm up.
BUT our wood stove was already burning with an INTENSE heat, so I opted to use it instead!
This project made me feel like a blacksmith because this is how I did it:
1.Get your fire ROARING hot. Be sure to have a good bed of coals.
2. Toss your marble(s) on the coals for approximately 3-5 minutes
Be sure to “keep your eye” on them in the sense of not losing where you ‘tossed’ them.
I sadly report that one marble was lost in the flames.
3. Use a heat resistant tool to pull them out of the fire. (Meaning something metal and long – not plastic, fabric, or other flammable materials!) I used the shovel that we use to scoop out ash from the fireplace when it is cold.
WARNING: The marble will be HOT HOT HOT!!!! Some of mine had turned bright orange they were so HOT!
(Sorry about the blurriness. I was trying to take the picture while balancing the shovel with the marble on it :)
4. Immediately dump them into a bowl of ice water (with ice cubes).
I chose a ceramic bowl that had withstood high temperature when it was originally made- and my 2005 ugly paint job ;) so that there would be no risk of the hot marble melting or destroying the bottom of the bowl after it was dropped.
I found that when the water was at its coldest, the marbles had a tendency to crack more severely and shatter. However, you still want the water to be cold so that the extreme change of HOT to COLD will make the marble crackle.
5. Use some utensils (fork/spoon) to remove the marble from the bowl and place on a towel or heat resistant surface (like brick) to cool. Be careful because the marbles will be hot to warm to cool depending on how soon you take them out of the water.
Once I got comfortable with the process, I started to remove the marbles after they had crackled initially (you can hear the sizzling of the hot marble in the water) and then would quickly remove them from the water to cool more gently because here is what happens when they cool too fast.
These mainly happened at first because I halved the time from the original directions (I left them for 10 minutes in what I assume now was a fire much hotter that 500 degrees). But no worries of waste because I plan on using these pieces for a mixed media project that I want to do soon.
In the end, I made:
2 whole crackled green marbles
2 half shattered/half clear marbles*
1 crackled blue marble (but needs repair to make it whole again because it split right down the middle )
100+ shattered pieces
*The half and half ones were made when they broke into two pieces while I was getting them out of the fire. So I stuck one half in the water to crackle and left the other half out to cool. Be sure not to get any water near the half you intend NOT to crackle as even the littlest bit of water will help cool it rapidly and thus crackle. (and these are my favorite of the bunch!)
I plan on turning at least one of the half and half ones into a necklace or keychain by gluing the sections together and then wrapping wire around the marble to create a pendant.
This was quite a fun project-experiment!
It has definitely made me think of other things to throw in the fire!
I put a quarter and a nickel in a few hours after I had done the marbles because I was curious to see what would happen.
I was able to bend the quarter with two pairs of pliers, but I’m still trying to figure out what exactly to do with it.
(AND in case you were wondering, the nickel was lost to the ashes as well – at least the marble will have company!)
Do you have any plans for a crackled marble?
What other things do you think could be HEATED and altered?