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How Does Glass Beads Are Made? by Lisa Crook

Glass beads date from at least 2500 B.C. There is probably a larger assortment of beads made of glass than of any other material. Glass allows for the huge range of colors and shapes that can be made from this extremely versatile substance. The colors in glass come from various metals and oxides that go into its making, for example: a wide variety of colors are possible with the addition of metals.

The process of making glass beads can be by machine or by hand. In all cases the glass must be melted, shaped and then cooled slowly: the glass must be allowed to even out before it sets completely or it will break suddenly and for no apparent reason, even months later. Glass for beadmaking is sold in rods or canes (6 †15mm in diameter), which are available in a wide array of opaque, translucent and transparent colors. To make handmade glass beads, glass canes or rods are manipulated by heating them into a liquid state.

They are then shaped and cooled into a different shape. Soft glass is usually recommended for making beads because it melts at relatively low temperatures. They are individually made by melting rods of colored glass in a high temperature torch flame. A technique in beadmaking, in which beads are made by twisting or wrapping hot glass around a rod or mandrel, is one of the oldest ways to create glass beads. It is also called lampworking. Some fused glass can be made in a kiln, while others can be made by removing molten glass from a furnace and molding or shaping it. Molded beads are made from very thick glass rods heated into molten glass. They are also known as pressed glass beads.

Glass can be made into many shapes, such as: rondelle, disc, round, cube, tube, cylinder, diamond, heart, drop, oval, rice, leaf, flower and bi-cone.

Glass beads include Bugle Beads, Crystal Beads, Fire Polish Beads, Indian Beads, Lampwork Beads, Pressed Glass Beads and Seed Beads.

How can we distinguish whether a bead is made from glass? Glass is cool to the touch when not being worn against the skin. It is fairly heavy and makes a clinking sound when knocked together or tapped on your teeth.

About Author:
Lisa Crook writes about glass beads . To know more about glass beads , visit

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