Cool bead alert: powdered-glass donuts

November 24, 2010

Cool bead alert!

We’re told these invitingly inexpensive, glowingly colorful powder-glass “donuts” are made by crushing solid color seed beads.*

Powdered-glass donut beads from Africa

Recycled-glass wafers like these have been popular at our BeadTour bead shows. Look for them in your city soon (next spring), or order some now!

*Beadmakers might be interested in the process of making these discoidal darlings. In a nutshell:

  • Make a clay mold.
  • Choose glass by color, crush it by hand into “fritt”.
  • Dip the mold in water, treat it with kaolin clay to prevent sticking.
  • Place a cassava stalk in the center of each mold; fill in with fritt. (Firing burns the stalks away, leaving a hole for stringing.)
  • Bake the molds in a kiln hot enough to fuse the glass.
  • After firing, remove the molds.
  • Shape and polish the beads on a stone using sand and water.
  • Beads are sometimes oiled to bring out their natural shine.
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1 Comment

  • Reply Regina November 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Dave. I am looking forward to my bead gift!

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