Tips for buying artisan:
- Check that the beads are kiln annealed - this means that the glass has been cooled in a temperature controlled kiln after the bead is made, which strengthens the glass.
- I prefer silver tube cores - some bead makers use rivets instead, which leave a ridge in the middle of the bead. It's probably irrational, but I worry that these might damage a bracelet over time by rubbing against it.
- There are some mass produced beads sold extremely cheaply (less than £5 each) on sites like Etsy, which generally tend to come from China. I personally prefer to avoid these, and buy from an individual who makes each bead themselves.