The round is our essential bead used in almost all designs. It is the easiest bead to make. You need only a mandrel, a torch and some glass.
It all begins with the selection of the glass canes. We use Effetre, known generally in the industry as Moretti. It is a soft glass with a COE of 104, Soda Ash Glass which contains no lead and is worked at temperatures of about 945 C which is about 1733 F.
The steps of making the round bead are shown below.
|All you need to make a round bead||Begin by winding molten glass around the mandre.|
|Add Sterling Silver Foil (or 24kt Gold Foil)||Encase the foiled bead with transparent Moretti glass.|
|Using the round tool assures it's size. And it gives the Murano Glass Bead that nice smooth shape.||The final step is reheating the bead so all the glass is the same temperature. This helps prevent cracking.|
While we say that the round is the easiest shape to make, it's still difficult work sitting in front of the heat, attempting to roll the mandrel in one hand while making sure that the cane is in the heat and wrapping around your mandrel. Well it takes some practice, rather like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time.
In Murano, the maestro speak about "knowing" the glass. It is a feel and knowing the exact shade of red you need to be sure the bead is thoroughly heated.