Unlike the 14th Century when artists used the flame of an oil lamp to create glass beads, current lampworking is a type of glasswork that uses a fueled torch (propane and oxygen) to melt rods of glass. When in a molten state, the glass is formed by rotating and shaping with a variety of tools and hand movements. Once ready to begin, the lampworker slowly introduces the glass rod into the flame to prevent cracking from thermal shock. The glass is heated until molten, wound around a specially coated steel mandrel forming a base bead which can then be embellished or decorated using a variety of techniques and materials. Once finished, the piece goes immediately into a kiln to be properly annealed which prevents cracking or shattering.