The glass beads used in these Hand Blown Cane Bead Tube Necklaces are Hand Made in Canada by Virginia Wilson Toccalino and Tony Toccalino using Italian glass working techniques, at their glassblowing studio in Halton Hills, On.
First they gather molten glass at 2100 F from the furnace on a blowpipe. Next a layer of densely coloured glass is added. Several layers of clear,molten crystal are then added to create the size of bead desired. Sometimes coloured glass canes or rods (made by the artists) are added to create stripes and spiralling patterns on the beads. Next a bubble is inserted through the blowpipe into the mass of glass. The glass is then heated and shaped many times until the shape and temperature is just right. Of course this is all determined at the discretion of the glassblower! At that point this becomes a team event when Tony and Virginia stretch the glass into tubes. The glass stretches much like taffy to the length and diameters desired.
After the glass rods are cut into usable lengths, they are put into a digitally controlled kiln and annealed . This adds strength and durability to the glass. They are then cut into beads lengths and polished through several polishing stages to create wet mint condition beads.
The beads go through a lengthy polishing process, after which they are ready to be strung with .925 Sterling Silver beads into jewelry.
It is important to sign our work so many of the Blown Cane Bead Tube Necklaces have a signature bead (made by Virginia) strung by the clasp or on a chain dangling .