Close-up of a Lampworking station. The left hand holds and rotates the steel mandrel which is coated in a clay type mixture of bead release. The right hand holds the glass rod which when melted in the flame becomes soft and the glass is applied to the mandrel. The steel mandrel is what makes the hole for your bead and mandrels come in various sizes to accomodate many different applications. Once your basic bead has been made, Artisans may take smaller glass rods called "stringers" to apply the finer detailed decorations to the surface such as raised or flattened dots, squiggles, raised lines and such. Once the decoration is complete, the bead is taken out of the flame and placed into a kiln where it will "soak" for several hours in extremely high temperatures. This process which is called annealing and is a must-do final process, assures that stress is taken out of the glass assuring the owner a lifetime of joy to behold and removes the danger of breakage.