I enjoy making this shape and wearing it, though it does carry with it additional working time. Sometimes I case the bead with a heavy layer of clear because I love the depth and play of light it creates in the design, but many times, such as with the bead above, I prefer to have the colors sitting closer to the surface and so only thinly case them. It is rare that I make a bead without a clear casing of glass.
Currently when creating my beads I don’t use any special tools. I have used the same ones for years and they consist of only mandrels, tweezers, a graphite marver and, on occasion, a small pair of mashing pliers, though I am once again eyeing the lentil bead press I experimented with years ago.