Glass beads are usually chosen for jewelry because they are inexpensive. However, glass is versatile and can make inventive beads of different colors and shapes. The most popular types being Chinese glass crystals, Lampwork beads and Quartz glass beads.
These beads are made by heating glass, so that it liquefies; a varying combination of heating and cooling is used to create different types of beads. Glass blowing and Lampworking are the usual methods employed. These methods define the shape, the size, the color and the texture of the beads.
Glass beads are not always smooth and polished; some may be faceted while some may have protuberances. Art jewelry and custom-made ornaments are generally made with beads like lampwork beads. These beads assume a personality of their own, especially since they are handmade.
They are mostly one of a kind but you will find them at wholesale shops too; although you must be prepared for slight inconsistencies between two beads of the same design. Lampwork beads are youthful and bold with an offhand cheeriness; they are best used for earrings and charm bracelets.
When you design jewelry, you must know who you are targeting. That way you won’t just make beautiful pieces but you will make sellable items. Colorful beads can be used to make accessories for children but if you want to appeal to a lady, consider crystals.
Chinese glass crystals have a glitzy shimmer. They are attractive and elegant; moreover they are perfect for special occasions, the kinds women commonly say they have nothing to wear to. Gemstone-like glass beads are among the most desirable adornments.
They are economical but they look majestic. Set them in sterling silver or gold filled wire or weave them into chains for a lush sophistication. Similarly, quartz glass beads in smoky tones make tasteful albeit off beat jewelry. They can be strung into leather or laced into layered chains. They also make bold cuffs and bracelets.
Of the many exquisite shapes available in the market, Bicone faceted glass beads are popular for gorgeous chandelier earrings and vintage jewelry. Teardrop beads in dual reflective tones are also a good choice for earrings. These beads seem to change color when they are viewed from different directions.
Glass beads can also be used as spacers in bracelets, anklets and necklaces. Spacers however are small; big beads are best used as pendants or wired into brooches. They come in hexagonal and oval shapes; you can find them in translucent cubes, too. These days, glass beads are made with tempered glass.
Tempered glass is tougher, it does not respond to stresses like normal glass does. It shatters in a distinctive manner, so that there are no sharp edges when glass breaks. It is preferable to purchase glass beads made with tempered glass, remember nobody wants to be bruised by their favorite piece of jewelry.
Store your supplies in a safe place to avoid scrapes and grazes, especially since they show up on glass easily. Glass beads are available online at a steal; you just have to find a one stop shop for all jewelry supplies. You may even be lucky enough to come across exotic collections from different states and cities of the world.
If you are looking for more than just pretty, opt for Lampwork beads. They can be purchased from independent artists or web stores. Since there is so much variety, it is advisable to do some soul searching. Understand what you want to put out there before you get back to the drawing board.
Glass beads are ‘no fuss’ baubles, they inspire creativity and are always fun to work with.