Sharded glass beads are not only some of my favorite beads to look at and hold, but they're also some of my favorite beads to create.
First a small amount of glass is wound onto the end of a hollow mandrel or blowpipe. That wind of glass is then melted down and shaped into a small bubble of glass at the end of the mandrel. Air is blown into the opposite opening of the mandrel until the glass expands and is rounded out into an airy bubble. That bubble is then (mercilessly) broken into shards and saved for later use.
There are many and varied pictorial lessons available online should you want to view how this is done and one day I'll get busy and do my own..
I blew a shard from some of the beautiful Double Helix glass yesterday and applied it in the flame to a long cylinder bead. The result: