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About Blown Glass Beads

April 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 247

Glass beads have been around for a very long time. It is believed that the first glass beads were made about 9000 years ago. They are available in a wide variety of colors, appearances, finishes and shapes. When they were first made, they were more than an art and more than a craft.

There are many techniques used to produce glass beads to give them their distinctive characteristics. One of the popular types of glass beads available these days are made using the technique of blowing. These beads are generally called blown glass beads.

Some of the oldest techniques of glass making are used to produce these beads. The Syrian craftsmen were some of the earliest artisans who discovered that it was possible to create beads made of glass by blowing through a tube into the centre of a blob of molten glass. This produced beads with a hollow core. This technique was invented somewhere between 27BC and AD13.

After the technique of blowing was invented, the Romans then figured out that if they combined the blowing technique with a mould, they will be able to create a plethora of all types of hollow glass vessels. These days, apart from blown beads, we can also find other items such as household glass decorations, vases and pendants made using the blowing glass technique.

Initially, creating blown glass beads was time-consuming because people had to do them singly. Later on, they developed a technique which involved using moulds to produce small runs of beads that could be cut up later on. Many years after the creation of the first blown glass beads, artisans discovered that they could also introduce color or a type of decorative finish inside the transparent beads. From this idea, a wide range of Christmas tree ornaments and imitation glass pearls resulted.

The sixteenth century saw Venetian glass makers producing blown glass items using clear glass with a core of colored glass. Items produced with this technique are known as 'filigrana' and this technique was developed on the Murano Islands. Today, 'filigrana' has an English name which is 'filigree glass'. This is because the resulting decoration is similar in appearance to the filigree work which is produced by goldsmiths.

There are many different types of beads produced using this technique which gives a different patterning. If a spiral patterning is produced, then the glass is called 'a retortoli', 'zanfico' or 'retorti'. Moreover, if a net pattern or a grid is produced, it is known as 'reticello'.

On our website, you will find a large selection of blown glass beads

Source: EzineArticles
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