It’s always fascinating to learn just how the products we use in our creativity are made. Since most of us who work with jewelry and polymer clay use beads I thought you might be interested in learning more about pressed glass beads.
Since I used to work with hot glass, namely lampworking, I understand a bit of the process. It really is exactly what it sounds like: glass is pressed into molds. In the video I’ll also explain to you what fire polishing means, which sounds intriguing and mystical, but is really just a way of professionally finishing glass beads.
Have any of you done torch work with glass or metal or other materials? Would you if you had the opportunity? I know the thought of working with flame is scary, but it’s fun once you learn how to do it safely.
It recently occurred to me that my youngest son may have come by his pyromania honestly, as I realized how relaxing I find it to be sitting behind a torch, playing with fire.
Huh. Gotta find me some time to do more soldering… or lampworking… or both!
This webpage gives some details about which types of beads are pressed and other processes used in making them.
Here are links to a few of the things I show in the video, in case you’re interested:
- Moretti glass rods
- Zooziis brass bead presses
- Stainless steel mandrels
- Czechmate tile beads
- Pressed glass beads
This video playlist is a tour of a bead manufacturer. They show the whole process: pressing, tumbling, faceting, polishing and coating. The final video is a view of their store room, which is kind of like an Aladdin’s cave for beaders. 🙂
Enjoy the video and happy creating!
Watch the What is Pressed Glass? Friday Findings Jewelry & Beads Tutorial video at YouTube.