A couple of weeks ago, I took a workshop at Flametree Glass in Roswell, GA on how to use a puffy mandrel to make hollow beads. Puffy mandrels are hollow tubes with a hole about two inches from one end of the tube. When you dip them in bead release, you close off the end of the tube with your finger and blow through the tube. The release will be blown out of the hole. You add two discs of glass on either side of the hole, gradually tapering the glass until it meets in the middle. Then you heat until the bead is a uniform temperature and gradually puff through the hole until the beads expands to the desired size. Sound easy? It takes practice, practice, practice. Here are the beads I made in the workshop:
These need to be mounted as pendants, but you can expect to see these and other like them in my Etsy shop soon. (etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss).