Techniques Used to Make Glass Beads

The glass beads are widely used and versatile materials which are used for different types of jewelry.  The glass beads have been used for long and they date back in the Roman period. The earliest beads were Egyptian faience beads.  The glass beads are found in different sizes, colors, forms and shapes. The type of the production of the glass beads are going to dictate the type of the beads that someone gets.  There are lampwork beads, bumpy beads, glass pearls, crystal beads, cat eye beads and Venetian beads.

Techniques Used to Make Glass Beads

The glass beads are put into different categories depending on the method that was used to manipulate or to create the glass. Most of the beads are found in three categories which are molded beads, drawn beads or wound beads.

Drawn glass is an old method and there are many methods that are used to make the drawn beads. They involve the pulling of a strand out of the gather of the glass in the way that they incorporate the bubble in its center which will become a hole.  The hole also can be made when a hollow metal is inserted in the ball of the hot glass while pulling out the glass strand in order to make a continuous tube. In the Venetian, the molten glass had been made by the use of the tool known as puntying up. This is when a bubble is found in the center of the gathered molten glass where the second puntile is being attached before it is stretched to gather enough bubble inside.  The pulling used is the process that has to be done by the skilled people and the canes are reportedly drawn on the lengths to 200 feet long.  A drawn tube is chopped which produce the individual drawn bead by slicing it. The beads were then cooked and rolled in the hot sand to make it round without the need to melt holes.

Molded glass beads are now made in the Czech Republic which was known as Bohemia before. Thick rocks have to be heated so that they can be molten and they are then fed in the rube goldbergian contraption which stamps the glass and it has a needed that makes the hole. The beads are then rolled in the hot sand in order to remove the flashing while softening the seam lines.

The wound glass beads are the beads which are put at high temperature and it is put around the solid core like metal wire or the mandrel which is treated by a special chemical so that the beads do not stick. When the beads are still hot, they may be shaped by the use of paddles or other tools.

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