The process of making a bead is fairly simple- making a beautiful bead is another matter! First, glass is melted in a torch and formed around a steel mandrel. Then decorative additions are melted onto the bead, such as various colors, small bits of glass known as frit, thin silver, copper, or gold foils, and enamels.
The glass may be shaped and sculpted, twirled, raked, stretched and handled in a variety of ways to achieve the final result. Once the bead is finished, it is placed in a hot kiln to anneal and cool slowly. This produces a bead that is structurally sound and will not crack from internal stresses and strains. Once the bead is completely cool the steel mandrel is removed and the bead is ready to enjoy.