It is no doubt that in recent times, beads are increasingly establishing a major presence in the process of making jewelry. Beads come in various types, and one of basic categorization of beads is in the type of material used in its manufacture. One of most popular of them all is the glass beads (an example is the MATUBO Superduo beads). Glass beads have over the years been used in creating stunning and beautiful jewelry pieces in a lot of ways. They are in fact the oldest type of jewelry initiated by the Romans, Native Americans and Egyptians. Every jewelry designer knows that using glass beads gives a loud sparkle to any dress.
Types of Glass Beads
One of the ways Glass beads can be categorized is by the technique used in manipulating the glass – molded beads, wound beads and drawn beads. There are also other composites, like millefiori beads, having a cross-section of a drawn glass cane and a wound glass core. For the sake of this article, let us take a look at a few.
Furnace Glass Beads
These types of beads require using an annealing glass furnace of large capacity and annealing kiln. This process also adapts the glass bowing techniques of the Italians – such as latticino and zanfirico. It makes use of smaller glass canes packed up to make large ones. These canes are usually encased in a transparent glass and positioned to produce the beads into desired pattern.
Crackle Glass Beads
The technique for making the crackle glass is also an age-long one. It involves the use of a molten hot bead, thereafter placed in cold water. As this happens, a crack occurs in the glass. The glass is now re-heated and then hand-blown or molded to give the desired pattern or shape.
Wound glass beads
This is where a glass is exposed to a high temperature to make it ductile enough to be manipulated to take any desired shape. They can be wound round a steel wire-like material, or manipulated with objects like tungsten, wood, marble etc. All of these happens while in its hot state. Further decoration can be done with stringers.
Otherwise known as pressed beads, this type of beads involves heating the glass into its molten state and then feed into a complex stamping apparatus. These beads are further sand-rolled for the purpose of removing seam lines and flashing. This type of bead is associated with lower cost of labour.
Drawn glass beads
This is another very ancient way of manufacturing glass beads. Although, there are several ways of drawing glass beads; however, they all involve the same concept. Making these beads require you pull a strand out of a gathered glass and in turn incorporating a bubble that is to serve as the bead hole. As easy as this sounds, it is a process that involves a great deal skill.
Glass beads come with a lot of benefits, one of which is that they come in bright colors such as red, yellow, blue, and green. This can be seen with the MATUBO Superduo beads. These two-holed headed beads are perfect for giving sparkle to any outfit.