How Are Beads Made?

How Are Beads Made?
How Are Beads Made? (Image:

How are Beads Made From Glass?

Making beads from glass is an old art form known as torch-working. There are many types of glass, but the most common is soda glass--which often has small bubbles contained within. Once the torch worker has donned protective gloves and eye-wear, he takes up a mandrel, a heat-resistant rod covered with wax roughly the size of a pencil. He then ignites his specially designed butane or propane blow torch, which is mounted on a table to hold the flame. A thin rod of colored glass is heated within the flame until it deforms and melts. The mandrel is held below the flame and catches the molten glass, turning evenly to form a molten glass ring. This forms the base of the bead. From here, the bead is kept molten and shaped with heat-resistant steel tools. Other colors of glass may be added in dots or layers in the same fashion as the first layer. Once the bead is complete, it is allowed to dry and removed from the mandrel by pushing along the mandrel's waxed length.

How are Beads Made From Ceramics?

Ceramic beads are made by taking various colors of clay and rolling them out into pencil-thickness lengths. They are then packed together, side by side, to form a much thicker length of clay, with the colors arranging a desired pattern. The clay mass is once again rolled out thin so each color comprises a smaller but longer portion of the mass. Cut the clay lengthwise into bead-width pieces. A hole is poked through the center of the bead and its edges are either rounded or flattened. With the shape and color complete, the beads are then fed en masse into a kiln to be baked hard. A finishing layer of glaze gives them a shine.

What Materials Can Beads Be Made From?

Beads can be made from most any decorative material. Thousands of plastic beads are made at a single time by filling empty molds with colored liquid plastic and then allowed to dry. They may also be made from many types of metal, both precious and common, by the same process. Beads from precious metals are more often made by hand as this adds to their uniqueness and worth. Beads can also be made from hand-worked stone such as jade, obsidian, and jasper. Their color, shine and individual grain of the stone make them each a treasure.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Make Glass Beads

    Man has made glass beads for more than 2,000 years and has used them in many ways, from decorations to currency. Techniques...

  • How to Make Seed Bead Patterns

    Seed beads are the tiny, little beads used in different projects. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and are...

  • How to Make Polymer Clay Beads

    Instead of buying polymer clay beads to use in your next jewelry or craft project, make your own beads that you can...

  • How to Make Rosary Beads

    Turn rose petals into beautiful beads to make a personalized keepsake rosary to use during prayers and meditations.

  • How to Make Wood Beads

    Making your own wood beads is not difficult and can be very rewarding. Making your own wood beads also can save you...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of an Ex-Pat in China

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!