The technique of spun glass is to melt the end of the glass rod in the flame of the blowtorch.
Once molten, the glass takes on a fluid consistency resembling honey. It is then rolled up on a metal rod called a chuck that the bead must keep constantly rotating in order to obtain a regular shape.
The resulting bead is then shaped to obtain the desired shape and then decorated. The possibilities of decorations are multiple: dots, wires, bubbles, metal sheets, enamel... The possibilities of shapes too. The pearl is obviously made with solid beads, but it can also make hollow beads and even blown beads (lighter).
The creative possibilities are almost endless.
Working in the torch flame causes tension inside the glass and makes it very fragile. In order to stem this phenomenon, the beads are cooked in a special oven and then cooled slowly. The glass then becomes very solid again.
To learn all about the craft of pearl of art, visit the website of theAssociation of The Perliers of Art of France.
Since August 2018 the know-how of the glass pearl has been inscribed in the French Intangible Cultural Heritage.
To learn all about the craft of glass bead in France, click here (PDF document).
Since December 2020 the art of the glass bead has been part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.