Ever so often we have to remind ourselves that we are working with artisans who work with materials at 2600F in front of fire breathing torches for hours each day. They are not machines, nor robots. Each of beads is a small work of art with all the beauties and “defects” inherent in any product made by hand.
And we do not ask them to make just ONE perfect bead, we ask them to hundreds even thousands. Our largest order for one bead was for a department store and they HAND MADE over 100,000 of just one bead. I am sure they dreamed of these beads at night.
Our bead makers are top of the world in their industry, many counting 5+ generations in this industry with their family names written in the Libro d’Oro of Murano, the book was instituted in 1602, and from 1605 the heads of the Council of Ten granted the title cittadino di Murano to those heads of families born on the island.
They are so good at this they make it look easy, and try so very hard to respond to our every request for beads. If I can describe it, draw it, they can make it. So I try to remember these people know much more about glass than I will ever learn, but I am an eager student!
So if you bead arrives with a less than perfect hole, a bit ragged – enjoy the art. There are a couple of things you can do if this offends your artistic design.
1) Use a beadcap – then you won’t see it, and it will help protect the stringing material. But of course beadcaps will have slight imperfections, even though they are machine made.
2) Ream the bead to the smoothness that you like.
We use a Dremel, not available in your local hardware store, but available online in many places. Use with a diamond drill bit, like the one you see here. If is lightweight and easy to use. As a caution dip the bead in water continuously so it doesn’t overheat when you use the battery operated dremel, otherwise you will be able to see the marks on the bead.
If you only bead for a hobby, then the hand reamer shown in the insert will be more than sufficient.
For more information on Making Murano Glass Beads, visit our website and informational pages at:
Venetian Bead Shop – How Our Beads are Made
All About Handmade Murano Glass Beads