Glass Beads And The Unique Varieties Available

Glass beads

CC Image courtesy of sdixclifford on Flickr

Glass Beads

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.

You have so many varieties of glass beads to choose from, that all you need is jewelry wire and creativity!

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful article is good to know about beads, I´m starting my first necklace and I´m very excited.

    • That’s fantastic Diane. Please let us know how it you go with your beaded necklace and feel free to include a link to the photo.

  2. Great post as always! Glass beads really are the go-to for new jewelry makers. Between glass beads and seed beads I can never have enough 🙂

  3. I must say, I love your site! Every article has so much useful information and in a well thought out process.

    Hope to see even more articles in the future!

    • Appreciate the feedback Lindsay. Beading is certainly a passion of mine and I plan to continue adding articles to the site. I hope to see you back again.

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