If you are a beading enthusiast, you may already know the reasons that glass beads are a highly preferred choice. For beginners, using glass beads in their jewelry-making or any other kind of beading projects offers the opportunity to add character, beauty and cosmetic appeal. The simplicity and decorative glass beads you will find offer a combination of colors and multi-colored or uniquely-designed patterns and they add a whimsical or sophisticated quality to your project. Because there are many choices, it’s a matter of deciding on qualities you wish to display in your finished project.
Glass beads come in all sizes, which make them easily adaptable to make jewelry applications.
When you are ready to start a necklace, bracelet or set of earrings, you may choose glass beads over acrylic or plastic choices, if you want to add sophisticated, colorful appeal. They are more reflective than these other choices- making your finished project look professionally-designed and created.
Glass beads come in a variety of categories, whether they are wound, drawn or molded. In fact, the art of glass bead-making has become quite sophisticated, offering choices that are embellished with tiny rhinestones or other decorations. Since glass beads date back more than 4,000 years, they have been used in jewelry-making, since almost ancient times.
You may have heard of lampwork glass beads, dichroic glass beads or furnace glass and lead crystal glass beads. As metallic sheens or lead is added, they take on a high-end and expensive look, which resembles sparkling diamonds or precious gemstones. Molded or pressed glass beads can be made with unique patterns that are impressed into the glass. Some cultures have become experts at imitating expensive gems or other precious jewelry-making beads, such as coral and shell imitations. These methods allow you a wide variety of choices that are affordable enough to fit any budget.
Silver foil or two-toned glass beads are highly popular, but there are all kinds of varieties, including those with bumpy textures or multiple facets, resembling finely-cut precious stones. Depending on the type of project you have in mind, it’s possible that artistically-created glass can replace gemstone beads, which are more expensive. Of course, you can also find unusual shapes, besides the traditional round shapes, which are commonly used in jewelry-making projects.
In today’s glass bead-making world, it’s possible to find pressed glass beads from the Czech Republic, fire-blown glass and crystal from Italy or Chinese crystal glass beads. There are glass pearl beads that allow you to make a pearl necklace, bracelet or earrings, which results in pearl jewelry that looks real, but it’s much more affordable.
Since today’s glass bead manufacturers have gotten creative at adding artistic qualities to their items, you can find mottled specimens that resemble the popular marbles of yesteryear and some of them are shaped like butterflies, hearts, flowers, daggers or faceted-crystal stones.