Our creative duo Emma and Sarah help create our gorgeous beads. Emma our designer helps design our beads and then every so often Emma and Sarah meet and try out some designs. Sarah has a studio just down the road from us in Braunton so is our go to especially for making our custom Sand Beads. In these photos Sarah is making some of our Scarborough beads using Lampworking. These beads are mainly clear and decorated with yellow, green, blue, orange and red dots on top of a white base with smaller flattened dots of white glass in-between.
Here are some of the gorgeous shades of glass we get to pick from to make our beads. We love layering different colours on top of each other and seeing the reactions. The glass rods we use are made on the Venetian island of Murano in Italy. Murano has been the glass making center for over 700 years and has a whole array of wonderfully coloured glass to choose from.
The Scarborough bead starts by melting a rod of clear glass onto a mandrel (metal rod). The mandrel is rotated allowing the clear glass to form evenly around the madrel to form a base bead.
Sarah will lay out the glass rods in the order she needs them. They need to be within a hands reach so that she’s ready to add the next colour onto the bead. The Scarborough bead has different coloured dots around the circumference of the bead and the order of the different coloured dots have to be the same for each bead. We create a recipe for every one of our beads with the glass codes required and a method. We also have a an image of the bead and we keep a sample bead with the recipe so that we can recreate the bead correctly in the future when stocks are running low.
A white glass rod is dabbed onto the bead around the outside of the bead five times to create white dots. These are then melted in using the flame.
Whilst the bead is still hot it it rolled in a press specifically for Nalu. This ensures that the bead is the same shape and size as all of our other beads for continuity.
The bead is then popped into the kiln on its mandrel where it’ll be left to cool down slowly overnight. This process is called annealing and ensures that each Nalu will be super strong and last for years! The result of this process is our brightly coloured Scarborough bead. Each and every Nalu bead is individually hand made buy our team of amazingly skilled lamp workers, making your Nalu bead entirely unique!