Morning, Sprinkleme and welcome to WC!
I started out using a huge ceramic kiln. I used kiln shelves to bring the interior shelf up to about 8" below the top. Use kevlar gloves to put the beads in. I rested the end of the mandrel on a bar so the bead would not touch the shelf. When done for the day, I would just shut off the kiln because of the mass and it would still be hot in the morning.
You will need to find out what cone temperature is equal to around 960 degrees for soft glass.
Hope that helps a bit. Have fun and post some photos.