How they're made!
So many people ask how we do it! Well, I still can't believe it and I watch it every day. It takes about 8 hours for the 1st bead and 10 minutes per bead thereafter. They're NOT PAINTED, and the designs WILL NEVER WEAR OFF!
Here's how we do it:
Polymer clay is machined through a glorified pasta maker to soften, mix colors and powders, and to and ensure workability. The design is then "built" from the inside out, layering slices and pieces of clay on top and around each other producing what is referred to as a "cane". The cane begins at several inches in diameter, multiple inches thick, and is pulled until thin while still maintaining the cross section's design. It is then cut and manipulated into various styles of beads and designs. Although each bead is very slightly different it is amazing that the designs maintain nearly all of their integrity throughout the manufacturing process. Although each bead is made one at a time, the process allows (and demands) that when making a cane it will ultimately produce several hundred beads. This technique, referred to as "millefiori" technique has been around for thousands of years, primarily utilizing glass, and only recently has been used to reproduce imagery and patterns to produce glasswork-like beads.