Everyone has been there.
You’re trying to buy a gift for someone, but you’re not sure what to get. Maybe they like wearing jewelry. But it can still be difficult to pick out something they might like.
One common type of jewelry is glass bead jewelry. Whether you’re looking for jewelry for yourself or as a gift for someone else, this may be what you need. Keep reading to learn all about what glass blowing is and how glass bead jewelry is made.
What Is Glass Blowing?
Glass blowing has been around since at least the first century BC. Remains of a glass shop in modern Jerusalem show evidence of early glass blowing techniques.
Although these were the first known attempts at making blown glass, the technology wasn’t fully developed until the Roman Empire took over the entire region around the Mediterranean.
The ancient Roman people made vast improvements in making glass objects, both as jewelry and as more practical things like containers. This ancient tradition has led to an entire style called Roman glass jewelry.
The glass blowing process involves putting some kind of gas, usually air, inside of a piece of glass. When you heat up a piece of glass, it starts to melt and become soft. This allows you to deform the shape to make any kind of product you want.
Placing a pipe in the molten glass allows you to inject air into it. Because it is soft, the glass grows outward like a bubble. As the glass cools, it starts to harden into its new shape.
How Is Glass Bead Jewelry Made?
You can use glass beads to make all sorts of beautiful jewelry such as bracelets and necklaces. Although some glass bead jewelry is made with glass blowing techniques, this makes it more liable to break because the layer of glass is thinner.
Instead, glass beads are made from solid pieces of glass. You start by heating one end of a glass rod which starts to melt. The glass at the end of the rod becomes a drop of liquid glass.
Then, you wrap this liquid bead onto a metal device called a mandrel. This serves to form the spherical shape of the drop. Once the shape forms, you can then move the bead into a kiln where it can slowly cool to retain its shape.
Another method of making glass bead jewelry is to use the ocean to naturally form spherical beads. This type of glass has come to be known as sea glass jewelry and is the result of broken glass in the ocean.
Even though glass on beaches can be a hazard, in the right circumstances, it can produce beautiful art. The water and sand work to shape the glass into a bead over time.
Now that you know all about glass blowing and how glass bead jewelry is made, feel free to do some more research and decide what kind of jewelry is right for you.