Snowflake Santa is a mouth blown hand painted glass ornament. As with most ornaments in the European tradition, it is made with soda glass. Tubes of this glass are placed over a bunsen burner. The artisan blows through the tube holding the opposite end over the flame. With only his breath he controls the shape of the molten glass to create a ball. Glass ornament artisans spend years in apprenticeship and have many years of experience. Once the glass has cooled it is "silvered". Liquid silver nitrate is poured inside, strengthening the glass and adding luster to the design. The ball is held by its stem to facilitate the painting. It's quite amazing to see the painters work since they are holding the cut tube and painting most of the design upside down. Mostly acrylic paints are used. Each layer of paint must dry before the next is applied. The final step is to cut the glass stem and apply a decorative metal cap over the end of the raw edge of the glass. A wire loop fits through the center of the metal cap and provides a place to attach a hook so the ornament can grace your Christmas tree.