Above are beads still on their mandrills. Mandrills are metal rods with one end coated in bead release, which is some sort of clay. It coats the inside of the hole that goes through the glass bead, but otherwise, the rest of it breaks off the mandrill pretty easily. I started making drop-shaped beads, which make for nice pendants. Drops are made by allowing the molten glass to blob down to one side, but without letting the "top" of the pendant get too thin.