Dazzling Glass Beads Create Scintillating Fashion Jewelry
Unknown to many, glass beads making craft is one of the oldest forms of art. In fact, historical data indicates that this craftsmanship existed 3000 years ago during the Roman era. However, some historians believe that the earliest glass like beads, the Egyptian faience beads, were a natural form of vitreous coated clay bead that appeared like turquoise or lapis lazuli gem.
As early as 200 B.C, traces of glass beads making centers were found in the early civilizations of India and Jerusalem. Later, glass factories of Syria, England, Italy and Egypt created translucent glass beads necklaces in shades of blue, green and gold. Much later, that is by 1400 A.D., glass beads assumed a major role in the ancient barter system and was traded for goods in most of Europe, South Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean countries.
Way back in the 19th century, Yoruba tribes of Africa purchased glass beads from the Europeans and created intricate geometric-beaded designs on cotton cloth. These adorned the head dresses of priests and priestesses. They also symbolized their religious and spiritual prowess. Similarly, Zulu girls had a penchant for beaded love letters, which were worn as rectangular panels and hung around beaded collars.
In the ancient era or the present times, as long as these glass beads have a hole for stringing, they can be availed in a variety of forms. They range from transparent to opaque and come in an infinite array of designs and colors. Glass blowing and lamp working happen to be the most popular techniques used for the glass beads-making process. The dichroic glass beads
and the famed Austrian Swarovski crystal factories produce precision machine-cut mass-produced glass beads. The former types have a thin and reflective metal sheet blended within the glass while the later crystals audaciously match the glitz and dazzle of diamonds.
The diverse processes of heating and cooling glass help them acquire the desired size, texture, color and appearance. The hand-made lamp work glass beads are found in restricted quantity. These customized beads are used in crafting delicate charms for bracelets or chic earrings, while the ethnic create spectacular antique styled ear studs. The faceted beads resemble precious gems; few examples being the Chinese crystal beads and the quartz glass beads. Their sparkling allure, transparency and gloss are reflected in stylish and exotic imitation designer jewelry pieces. These items appeal to the style-conscious and are reasonably priced.
Necklaces of tear-drop beads of either coral colored or dual-reflected tinted shades contribute to unique items. Likewise, strands of quartz-glass bead neck pieces, designed as chokers, are lustrous. The large hexagonal or oval-shaped bead crystals create exclusive pendants when strung into metallic chains. Glass-bead brooches, twined with wire and further complemented by glistening pearls or metal beads, make special accessories to harmonize designer dresses.
The glittering, jazzy or refined glass beads make a style statement. Reputed designers are known to endorse that they work best as rondelle or spacers. These are classified as fancy, decorative, round, designer or rectangular glass beads. They are used in personalized belts or purse handles; while the cube-shaped flamboyant beads, in subtle or scintillating colors, adorn slip-ons and other designer footwear. The versatile glass beads, originating from Italy and Egypt, are found worldwide in countries spreading from the U.S. to Indonesia.
Any fashion-conscious personality or a chic designer can construct beautiful and highly appealing ornamental pieces from these sparkling glass beads. When “seeing is believing”, these exotic glass beads can be purchased from many sources in bulk or in reasonable quantity. The sources are online distributors, reputed retailers and from renowned jewelry showrooms. Later on and with professional assistance, genuine show pieces can be crafted from these glass beads.
A message for the “trend setters” – go ahead and try out these ornamental pieces and be the subject of envy!