I make glass beads using a technique called lampworking or flameworking. I use a propane/oxygen torch to melt rods of glass. My raw glass is Effetre glass from Italy. Occasionally I will use a little CIM or Bullseye glass. The melted glass is wound around a thin steel rod (called a mandrel), then shaped and decorated with thin rods of glass (called stringers. Some of the beads have silver leaf added inside. There is no paint on any of my beads, they are all layers and layers of glass.
All of my beads are annealed (baked) in a kiln at approximately 950 degrees F. This removes stress from the glass and prevents the bead from cracking. Because my beads are annealed, they are durable. Try not to drop them on cement or marble. They will hold up well under normal, everyday wear.