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How are glass beads made?
 
Coloured glass rod is melted over a very hot flame and wound around a metal mandrel which has been coated with a high fire clay which allows the glass to separate from the mandrel when it is cool. The Moretti glass is from Italy which is made in batches and hand pulled into rods. 
  
I use a torch which is fueled by natural gas and an oxygen concentrator. My flame worked beads are one of a kind glass beads. A single bead can take up to an hour to make by sculpting molten glass over the flame. The process of making a single bead consists of layering glass to create depth and dimension, one layer over the other, shaping colour and glass to form a variety of different effects and designs. Once the bead has been completed, it must be annealed in a kiln. Annealing refers to (re)heating the bead and maintaining a consistent temperature for a particular length of time, dependent on the size of a bead, to allow for the stress in the glass to be removed. Beads which are not annealed are prone to cracking sooner or later.   Now the lampwork bead is ready to be designed into a piece of wearable art.
 
Art glass beads are one of a kind - handmade one by one!
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