Category Archives: Types of Beads

Paper Beads

Aside from recycling those sheets stacked in your drawer, what do you think you can still do which you can benefit? Well, it is none other than paper beads that you can transform as a personal accessory.

How to make one? The first thing to do with paper beads is to create a series of “V” shapes all over the sheet. Make sure that there is an allowance of half an inch on the biggest end then taper the smallest tip to a certain point. For stability purposes, do not go beyond the measurement suggested. Even while you are still following the step- by- step instructions, you can already incorporate your ingenuity by employing scissors that have decorative- edges to create an interesting look.

To continue with the paper beads, always have a glue stick beside you. It would be better if you buy a product that is water- soluble so cleaning would not be much of a hassle. On the unprinted side of the sheet, cover it with an adhesive agent. Moving on, beginning at the biggest end, roll firmly towards the smallest tip then wrap around a cotter pin, plastic stitching needle or bobby pin, among the others. The choice of tool will depend on how huge is the hole desired. To finish, paste the ends or tips in order to hold the head shut.

What are the tricks? If you are entirely new to the craft, you might just consider paper beads as a complicated project but actually, it is not. To help you in your initial stages of immersion, here are tips that will assist you in not breaking a sweat.

Cylindrical paper beads are done by employing a hand- held punch that has a small hole. Thump random gaps on the sheet so when rolling, the bottom layers can be seen. Once you are done, the trinkets will not entirely have the intended shape but if you pile up different pages, the result will surprise you. Also, before the dipping procedure, drape the thread so that it will lay evenly smooth. You can even add pigmented additives or metallic dyes to play with your colors.

Stringing paper beads are not completely that easy to perform especially in perfecting the skill. One way to develop is to utilize a sharp knife in slicing the ends or tips after drying. This will actually help in generating a flush material. Nice effects will absolutely emerge which will make you really feel good about your handiwork. Aside from the positive sensation, the material can be a great focal charm of a bracelet or a necklace.

So next time you do not know what to do with the sheets stacked in your drawer, you can by all means change them into paper beads.

Pandora beads

The Pandora name is more than just a Greek mythology character, however, the Pandora jewelry takes much inspiration from the tale – hope and opportunity.

Pandora’s lavish sterling silver jewelry traces its origin in Scandinavia where its line was launched in 2002. Pandora beads hit the U.S. markets in 2003 while its seasoned designers based in Copenhagen, Denmark come up with unique designs fabricated from sterling silver and 14-K gold. The uniqueness of Pandora beads lies in the wearer who selects and composes the jewelry according to a style he/she desires.

Getting started on your Pandora jewelry Having your own Pandora creation begins by choosing a bracelet that costs $21 or a chain for a necklace at a starting price of $49. You can choose your Pandora closure by selecting from sterling ball clasps, 14-karat gold lobster clasps and ball clasps. Pandora chains are available in oxidized silver, bright silver, or 14-karat gold.

The first original patented Pandora bracelet was the first to enter the US market. The chains feature “threaded screws” on the sections that serve as divisions for your Pandora beads. The raised screws help keep the beads from rolling out of its designated place. The decorative clips are meant to conceal two threads on the chain. The clips can cost $20, and Pandora has several designs available to suit the style you’re creating.

As soon as you have selected a chain, you can now begin selecting Pandora beads fabricated from sterling silver or 14 karat gold with prices starting at $16.50. Your Pandora creation will depend on your creativity and the type of style you wish since Pandora beads designs range from letters, decorative designs, floral, zodiacs, animals, semi-precious stones, dangle charms, Murano glass, diamonds, and many others. Pandora also has “spacers” that you can place in between the beads to create a varied look.

Sterling silver beads create a casual look while you can also go for gold using a gold chain or two-tone silver, or go all gold. You can freely experiment on your Pandora jewelry by arranging different types of beads for varied occasions, moods, or clothes. The total price of your Pandora jewelry will depend on the type of beads you have chosen for them, but to give you an idea how much a complete bracelet would cost: for a two-toned silver and gold combination for instance, estimated cost would reach $1,835.45. This bracelet features a floral design will “spacers”.

Maintaining your Pandora jewelry The next thing you need not worry is keeping your Pandora beads glossy. Just get a polishing cloth meant for silver and make sure you wipe the jewelry before and after using them. Be extra careful not to immerse your Pandora jewelry in a jewelry cleaner solution since it will take out the oxidation that some Pandora beads are treated to.

Ojime Beads

Said to have instant powers that will mesmerize a lot of people, Ojime beads are considered to be very special. Most of the initial impression of the item is an animated charm where one cannot help but come closer for a look. If you happen to see the accessory, you will find out how small yet attractive the carvings in the boxwood that exposes lavish details and intricate undercuts. There are some people however, who suspect that the piece is only a cast replica because of how blemish- free the original result is.

Origin From 1654 to 1868 or better identified as Edo Period, there were compartmentalized containers that were employed to hold acupuncture needles, medicinal herbs and personal belongings. In the start, Ojime beads were very simple which purely served as a sliding closure located above the “inro.” Soon enough, especially in the Meiji Period which is from 1868 to 1912, the boxes with dividers turned out to be a symbol of taste and status. It was then the onset of the item evolving as a beautiful molded accessory with challenging expressions of the skillful artisan.

Tradition If you are familiar with the national costume of the land of the rising sun, you know that a kimono does not have any pockets. Due to such, both the local men and women would be dressed in a compartmentalized container which is dubbed as “inro” typically hung under the obi, a broad textile belt on two cords. Above the string, a netsuke is anchored primarily functioning as a toggle. The smaller Ojime beads dish up as a sliding closure to lock the lid.

Significance The patterns of the Ojime beads suggest the mundane concerns of life as well as literature including myth and poetry. There are also items that exhibit the natural surroundings and indigenous customs. Accessories that were produced out of exquisite pieces such as rhinoceros husk and narwhal tusk are believed to possess magical properties and protective elements innate to the material. Take for example two fish paired together, it symbolizes harmony that is deemed to fight against evil.

Value In the rich culture of the Japanese, Ojime beads play a significant role. Most of the time, the item is engraved in elephant ivory but there are also others that are constructed out of tortoise shells, jade, gold, silver, coral, lacquer, glass and whale molars. Those accessories that dated back to the ancient periods have been treated as favorite collectibles by the natives. When you refer to a global scale, the pieces are regarded as the most precious.

There may have been plenty said about Ojime beads but fact remains that the item is essential in the mores and ethos of Japan.

Mala Beads: A Meditation Tool

The concept of meditation has been around for thousands of years. It has been practiced by millions of people from different walks of life and different religions. In fact, groups and individuals have already established certain rules and concepts that support meditation. They have built meditation as a tradition, and of the rules set by these people, the use of mala beads is deemed one of the most important.

Mala beads are a form of rosary beads. It’s a string of usually 108 beads with one of those considered the summit bead or the sumeru. Mala beads are popular in India and parts of Tibet, with hundreds of people using them for chanting and reciting of a mantra. The word “mala” originated from Sanskrit and means “necklace” or “garland”.

Characteristics

The mala beads are designed in varying styles, sizes, and colors. They also differ according to what materials are used. For instance, most mala beads are crafted from sandal wood, tulsi or basil wood, crystals, or rudraksh seeds. Each of these materials has their own properties that make mala beads worth possessing. The properties of these materials, according to many users, can create certain effects in the subconscious mind of the meditation practitioners.

Usage

Mala beads are designed for one particular use –- to aid individuals with their mantras. The mantras, as you may know, are performed in repetition, sometimes even thousands of times, and during the process, the mind may wander off. If the level of energy present in your system is low during meditation, chances are you will fall into deep slumber, and if the energy is too high, mental distractions like fantasies may occur and interfere with the process. So to control your mind and your whole being during the meditation process, mala beads can be used. Simply put, the beads help to track the repetitions involved in the mantras.

How are the mala beads handled? Well, typically there are two ways of handling these beads for meditation. Traditionally, they are held in the right hand, hanging between the ring finger and the thumb. The one used to rotate the beads one by one is the middle finger. On the other hand, the mala beads are handled hanging on the middle finger. The thumb is basically used to rotate the beads, one at a time. In both of these ways, the index finger doesn’t touch the beads.

It is important to note that in doing the mantras, the mala beads are rotated in a particular rhythm that goes with every breath. The counting begins at the sumeru and continues until the sumeru is touched again. It basically goes in loop.

Japa mala (prayer beads) of Tulasi wood with 108 beads

Photo courtesy of Korrigan

Magnetic Hematite Beads

Magnets have been used in almost all types industries for various purposes. The fashion and craft industry is one emerging group to make use of them in large quantities. And, one important achievement the craft industry has made with the use of magnets is the development of magnetic hematite beads.

Magnetic hematite beads are a rapidly growing craze in the craft and fashion industry. Several bead artists have already used them for creating their own art and jewelry projects. And, with an ever growing number of people using magnetic hematite beads, more and more jewelry and craft stores are now providing the public with a wide selection of beads made of magnetic hematite.

Magnetic hematite is a gemstone developed by one sure process – magnetizing of simulated hematite. Note that “simulated” hematites are used here for the reason that the natural hematite does not subject itself to magnetization. It cannot be magnetized, to simply put.

To best use the strong power of magnets contained in the magnetic hematite beads, bead artists have designed and developed their bead designs using polarization. The sides of the beads are polarized, making each piece useful for clutching hundreds of strands together. This is basically the reason that you see multiple strands of matching magnetic jewelries beautifully aligned.

Magnetic hematite beads are popular not just for their strong power, but also for their heath benefits. Yes, you heard me right. It is believed that the health benefits of the magnetic hematite beads are available in magnetic jewelry. The beads, when used, are said to be capable of maintaining the natural charge of the body’s nerve cells. As a result, bodily aches and pains are eliminated. Aside from that, the magnetic hematite beads are deemed to enhance the healing process. They can also help make the immune system strong, and they are even great for those who are suffering from insomnia as the beads can increase the quality of sleep.

There is more to be said about the health benefits of magnetic hematite beads. Many people believe that when the magnetic hematite beads are worn on the wrist, hands, or fingers, it can provide immediate relief to any hand ailments. And, when worn on the neck or on ears, the magnetic hematite beads can help eliminate light headaches and migraines. While these benefits are perfect for both sexes and all ages, it is important to note that pregnant women and those who wear a pacemaker are not recommended to use magnetic hematite beads.

Today, jewelry and artistic items made of magnetic hematite beads are sold in almost all craft and jewelry stores. Some are sold wholesale, while others are for individual purchase. The price does vary according to their style and the intensity of their magnetic power.

Photo courtesy of RKBot

Magnetic beads

Do magnetic beads really have therapeutic powers? Humans have worn beads for many thousands of years. In fact, latest discoveries from archaeological sites date the earliest proofs of beads to around 100,000 years old. The most common explanation is that beads are worn for self-adornment. However, beads in many cultures of the world are used in rituals and are even regarded as sacred, such as Rudraksha beads, which the Hindus believe to come from the tears of their Lord Shiva.

On the lighter side of things, magnetic beads also serve the purpose of convertible fashionable accessories. Many beaders actually are having fun creating jewelry since no clasps are necessary to close the piece. String the magnetic beads onto a nylon cord or SoftFlex of any length, then put the wraps together and the magnetic attraction will hold them in place. These beads are natural magnets so it’s viable to experiment on fun designs without the hassle of putting in clasps or doing overhand knots to close the wraps.

In other instances, beads are not just worn as a simple piece of jewelry. Beads that are magnetic are thought to have healing properties. Some people who have tried putting on magnetic beads to relieve pain do support this idea. Research has revealed that magnetic jewelry items like bracelets as well as other magnetic therapy products are potent alternatives, effectively relieving pain without the use of medicines.

Although it has not become a trend, professional sports trainers, chiropractors, and golfers are trying out the effectiveness of magnetic therapy by using magnetic beads to help in the treatment of sports-related injuries, arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, tennis elbow, neck pain, tennis elbow, forms of inflammation, to reduce high blood pressure, and likewise relieve general body pains and aches.

The idea of the therapeutic powers of magnetic stones is not a modern concept. Like beads, this is a thousands-year-old belief that traces its roots to the Egyptians, Asians, Hebrew, Indian, Greeks, and Europeans. The early people from these civilizations used naturally magnetic stones in their holistic medicine. However, this concept only reached the shores of the United States in the past few years.

Moreover, magnetic therapy through magnetic beads is used to enhance the body’s natural healing process by relieving body pains and discomfort. Although this idea still has to be substantiated by Science, applying magnetic therapy over the affected or injured portion is believed to increase blood flow to reduce inflammation as well as enhance the body’s natural healing powers. The magnetic properties of Hematite stones, in the meantime, are believed to generate a paramagnetic field that blocks any signals of pain to the brain.

So aside from being worn as jewelry, magnetic beads in the form of jewelry items are currently being looked into as alternative medicine in countries such as Japan, China, Austria, India and Germany to alleviate pain symptoms and promote healing.

Lampwork Beads

The earliest forms of glass beads have been dated at around 30,000 years old. Wearing lampwork beads was a classic and a modern trend as well.

Egyptians notably used glass-like beads made from Egyptian faience beads, a type of clay bead having a self-molding vitreous property. Lampwork beads are a variant of wound glass beads. They were typically made by men since producing them required melting glass at furnace temperatures. The decorative touch was then added by women, mostly in their homes by employing oil lamps (hence, the name lampwork) to reheat the core in order to decorate them using wisps of glass.

During the 19th century, mass production of lampwork beads became an industry for the Venetians. The people who worked on lampwork beads were remunerated for their work by the piece.

Modern lampwork beads

Today’s lampwork beads are produced by heating a rod of glass with a gas torch.  The resulting thread is spun all over a metal rod enclosed in bead release. As soon as the base bead has been molded, other glass colors can be added on the surface to create decorative effects. To achieve durability, the beads may be reheated in a kiln.

Contemporary beadmakers make use of single or double-fuel torches. Most people in the industry today prefer using a flameworking torch or burner because it produces soot-free flame. Oxygen and propane (natural gas is sometimes used) are mixed at the mouth of the torch. Additionally, the torch is immovable unlike in metalworking.

Durable and adorable lampwork Lampwork beads are popular components for pieces of jewelry, be it bracelets, necklaces, etc. You’ll be amazed at the wide array of lampwork beads online. Their quality depends on the expertise of jewelry artisans. However, it’s not only the style you must consider when finding your own lampwork beaded jewelry.

It’s helpful to ask the following questions before buying lampwork beaded jewelry: 1) were the beads annealed in a kiln, 2) the track record of the jewelry artisan, 3) has the artisan sold his creation on the Web where customer feedback is available, 4) are the beads being guaranteed by the seller?

Cracking is probably one of the biggest worries for lampwork glass beads especially when the artisan skipped the annealing process in a kiln. Annealing allows the glass from the outside in to gradually cool down at the same time, reducing the possibility of cracks.

Also, check the beads as a whole, whether you find them pleasing or you are noticing slight variations. Variations are normal for handmade lampwork beads (which they mostly are) but so long as you don’t notice any trace of untoward appearances, then the lampwork beads are good to go.

File:BeadFire.jpg

Photo courtesy of Changolanzao

Lampwork Bead Jewelry

Lampwork Beads

Photo courtesy of Copperrein

Lampwork bead jewelry has existed since primordial periods.  A torch is used in melting and shaping the glass. It was introduced during the 1300′s to the region of Murano in Italy, and eventually spread all over the continent of Europe. By the 1850′s, the method was joined with paperweights that are shaped into domes.  This technique, still practiced by skilled artisans, started in France.

In the late stages of the 1960′s, lampwork bead jewelry was revolutionised by Hans Godo Frabel, who hails from Germany. He applied his scientific training in order to fashion lampwork bead jewelry. There are also other skilled artisans who became popular because of their exceptional ability with lampwork beads. They include Cesare Toffolo, Robert Mickelson, Milon Townsend, Rudolf Blaschka and Roger Parramore.

Selection

Lampwork bead jewelry can be created with any kind of glass which is available, such as borosicilate, soda lime and lead.

Borosicilate is hard and requires a great amount of heat. An example is Pyrex which can be found in a lot of modern households. Sue ellen Fowler has been generating patterns for shaded borosicilate. Her conceptions have been the basis for the first products of Northstar Company.

Soda Lime is regarded as the most common glass used for lampwork beads. Presently, Effetre Company is the biggest manufacturer. Firms such as Uroboros and Spectrum make soda lime that has a COE of 96.

Lead glass is distinguished by low thickness and heavy mass. Apart from that, it also has huge tolerance to mismatches in the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (COE). The companies that primarily manufacture lead glass are Czech, German and Satake. Gaffer Corporation, from New Zealand, is in the business of fashioning lead with a COE of 96.

The art of lampwork bead jewelry is quite intricate.  Even skilled artisans find it a challenge. Once they have finished a design on paper, they have to cautiously plan the step-by-step procedures to create it. When ready to start, the individual carefully introduces tubing into the flame to avoid any breakage from thermal shock. The glass is then placed in high temperatures in order to soften. Other things are merged as well in arriving at a desirable mold. Once done, the item has to be annealed.

Yes, lampwork bead jewelry is complicated but if others were able to acquire the skills required, you can also learn this fascinating beadwork method.

Juzu Beads

Catholics use a rosary when praying to Mary, and Buddhists have their own version called Juzu beads. In Buddhism, these have a very profound value as followers believe using religious material in their prayers will help change their earthly longings into illumination.  They’re also supposed to assist in discovering that the trials of life are a doorway to emancipation.

Overview

According to a high priest by the name of Nichikan Shonin, a string of Juzu beads is a means of guiding an individual of average ability. They are compelled to enact ascetic practices. It is both symbolic and significant when used by Buddhists to call on Buddha. The juzu beads are also utilized when counting the number of invocations being made as well as when reading the sutras of Buddhism.

Juzu beads have always been used as a way to draw more people of Mappo into close contact with the Three Treasures, namely Buddha, Law and Priesthood. Treated with utmost care, Buddhists consider them one of the Three Robes necessary in living out their teachings. The other two are primordially dubbed as “kesa” and “koromo”.

Meaning

In a string of Juzu beads, one hundred and eight small circles are of similar size. As described by the different treaties such as the Annotations on the Great Concentration and Insight written by Miao- Lo, they represent the carnal desires of a mortal human being. The whole of the juzu beads stands for the five characters of the Mystic Principle, the entity of the simple which is the philosophy every Buddhist should attain to obtain enlightenment.

The two large circles of the Juzu beads correspond to either mother and father, Ho and Myo, Taho and Shakyamuni or wisdom and reality. The roundness of the string of Juzu beads speaks of the Mystic Truth as well as the true body of each phenomenon. A certain Shakyamuni Buddha in his Seishi Bosatsu Sutra said that persons who use the religious material of small squares are not disciples of Buddhism. Nichiren Daishonin echoed this thought, saying such individuals are members of the Jodo sect.

If you immerse yourself in the ways of Buddhism, you will learn that Buddhists never separate the string of Juzu beads from their bodies even for a moment because they strongly regard it as necessary to help in overcoming transgressions. Apart from that, the juzu beads are also accorded the same level of respect as their gods.

Handmade Glass Beads

Glass bead creation is rapidly emerging as a unique form of art. Many bead artists are crafting glass beads these days either for their own art and jewelry projects, or for their own beading business. They create their own designs by following certain patterns or standards, and many of them use machines for cutting or shaping the beads.  Others do it by hand.

Handmade glass beads are said to be more precious than other stones, as they are crafted with close attention to detail. Just like the rest of the precious beads on earth, handmade glass beads come in different colors, shapes, sizes, and finishes. They also differ in terms of price.

Handmade glass beads can easily be identified types or categories. The most common types of handmade glass beads include the Millefiori, Czech, lamp work, dichroic glass, and bumpy glass beads. This makes it easy to find the bead that’s perfect for your own creation.

How are Handmade Glass Beads made?

Handmade glass beads are crafted in different ways, depending on what the artisans prefer. Typically, the glass is first heated to a particular temperature to melt. The melting process is important as it is what allows the artisans to form their own bead shapes and layers. But to be able to do this, the glass must be held over a burning flame. The result of this melting and shaping process is basically what determines the type of  bead.

For instance, handmade lamp work glass beads are created with decorations that are raised. It is also typical for this type to feature dots and bumps, as well as feathery figures that are sparkling. They also have foils inside, or other applied decorations for enhanced looks or appearance. The appearance of lamp work glass beads is enhanced with various color combinations and textures.

Where to Find Handmade Glass Beads?

Handmade glass beads are now available in a wide range of prices. You can find them either offline or online with lots of bead stores available out there for you to consider. If you are the type who wants to be trendy, searching online can be a way of keeping up with the latest trends. All you have to do to find the best websites and the right materials is to spend some time searching.