I've often said that my favorite tool is the micro-mashing tweezer.... that so much can be achieved pinching small malleable drops of molten glass.... So therefore the thinness of glass makes for light's ability to flow through it, and for the color to be more visible.
So then one would assume that my favorite shapes are the tall thin ones...YES. Tiles, disks, slumped caps, cut flowers, splats, Freefall... only today did I realize how many shapes are derived from the ability to make a tall thin disk. Mind you - this tall disk, with all the tugging and maneuvering in the flame is holding onto the mandrel only by a footprint of glass that's the width of the disk. Maybe 1.5mm. So - it's a gentle process, after all some of the disks are 30mm in diameter.
I've cut these into flowers, slumped them into Freefall beads, glass bead caps, tortured them into submission to make them square... and most often flame polished each side to 'allow' light and easier access.
Oh, I forgot - take two of these, and span the distance with glass - and that's a hollow bead. While I write this, it makes me think this is probably the most important building block of beadmaking... and I never quite thought of it that way before.
I wonder what else is possible?