Glass is one of the most versatile and widely used materials for the creation of beads. Glass beads or stones are perfect for jewelry making and have been around since ancient times. Glass beads are normally categorized by the method used to create the glass and fall into three main categories: molded, drawn and wound beads.
Molded beads are most widely known as Czech beads because the Czech republic is the dominate manufacturer. One popular style is pressed glass beads which are formed by pressing a heated glass rod into a mold. Once a mold is created thousands of beads can uniformly be created thereby making these beads more affordable than hand cut beads. The types, sizes and shapes of molds are endless so if you are looking for unique shapes at an affordable price, pressed glass is your choice.
Another popular Czech bead is faceted and fire polished glass beads. Faceted glass beads sparkle just like lead crystal – at a fraction of the price! These molded glass beads are machine faceted for even perfection and then intense heat is used to polish the beads and enhance the shine. So if you are looking for a perfect holiday piece at an affordable price – try your hand at some beautiful faceted and fire polished beads.
The most popular type of drawn glass beads are seed beads. These small beads are created by pulling a strand out of a gather of glass in such a way as to incorporate a bubble in the center of the strand to serve as the hole in the bead. The drawn tube is then chopped, producing individual drawn beads from its slices. Seed beads are the perfect accents or spacers in any jewelry creation.
Another great glass bead selection that has a unique design are lampwork beads. These wound beads are probably the earliest true glass beads and are made by winding or stretching glass at a high temperature around a solid metal core and then shaping and manipulating the heated glass. And while still hot, or after re-heating, the surface of the bead may be decorated with fine straws of colored glass. Lampwork can include a metal insert in the hole such as Pandora style beads.
So try your hand at some of these glass stone beads. Most wholesale beadstores offer a wide array of glass beads online. Since it is now so simple to buy your beads online, stay inside this winter, order a few glass bead selections and make some fabulous jewelry pieces for the Holidays!