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Glass Beads -The History and Making Of

Glass Beads -The History and Making OfBeads are amongst the oldest human art and technology, dating back 30,000 years. They have been dated back to at least Roman times. Perhaps the earliest glass-like beads were Egyptian faience beads, a form of clay with a self-forming vitreous coating.

Glass beads are usually categorized by the method used to manipulate the glass. Most fall into three main categories: wound, drawn, and moulded. There are composites, such as millefiori, where cross-sections of a drawn glass cane are applied to a wound glass core. A very minor industry in blown glass beads also existed in 19th century Venice and France.

It is believed that the Egyptians first used faience (a glazed fused quartz composite) but later developed the core, wound and mosaic methods of using glass to make beads and other decorations. They were the first culture to have glass-making guilds.

Glass beads, however, were not limited to the Egyptians in ancient times. There have been glass beads found in archaeological sites dated between 2,000BC and 10AD in both Austria and Switzerland.

In modern times, they have become a popular form of jewellery, especially in African cultures with necklaces,bracelets, and anklets made of these materials. They can be extremely colourful and bright, making them fashionable and popular in modern times for all cultures.

There are many types of beads and all are named according to the way they are made, including wound, drawn, moulded,lampwork, Dichroic, furnace and lead crystal.

The Types of glass used to construct these include rod, sheet, soda lime, lead, and borosilicate. The material chosen often depends on the hardness, colour, durability, and size required.

Nowadays the Czech Republic is a well-known and reputable producer of these object. Both online and in stores worldwide, Czech glass beads will be sold for a much high price on average than most other types of glass beads. These Czech pieces are often used in necklaces and bracelets and are sold in renowned jewellers across the globe. The Czech's have a reputation for creating beautiful yet durable glass beads consistently.


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