Discover the Craftsmanship of Glass Beads….
“Despite its humble size, a glass bead contains a world of details and colour, reflecting the magnitude of nature.” – Lise Aagaard
Archaeological evidence suggests glassmaking dates back to at least 3,600 BC in Egypt and Syria. Amazingly, the earliest known glass objects were beads!
Glass beads were introduced to the Trollbeads collection in 2001. Most of our glass comes from Murano, an island close to Venice in northern Italy that has produced exceptionally high quality glass for centuries. Colour is achieved by adding different substances to the glass, such as copper for a clear marine blue.
The process of creating a glass bead is a delicate dance between fire and passion. Glass melts at some point between 600 and 800 degrees, depending on the colour. When glass melts, it rolls itself into a ball due to its natural surface tension; the same tension that causes a drop of water on a surface to become round. Our craftspeople gather molten glass onto a steel rod, twirling and shaping it with precision and intention. Glass cannot be hammered and pulled like metal can. It is much harder to control. Mistakes are visible and difficult to repair, so one wrong move could ruin the dreams encapsulated within.
Just like any journey of transformation, the creation of a Trollbead requires patience and resilience. When melted and when cooled, some colours rise to the surface of the bead and some sink to the core of the bead. Every colour reacts differently, and the designer can use this knowledge to create a variety of designs, using different colours in different layers to play with dimensions and depth. Occasionally the glass will react in unexpected ways, but this can inspire new ideas.
Glass beads are heated in kilns and cooled gradually, allowing the glass to harden slowly. This slow cooling process builds resilience into the bead, ensuring it will withstand the tests of time and wear. A normal glass bead from Trollbeads contains 10-15 steps in the creation process. Our Uniques contain up to 100 steps! These are truly small pieces of art.
In an ever-changing world, where trends and fashions come and go, Trollbeads glass beads remain timeless. They serve as a reminder that the power to transform lies within us all. Just as artisans pour their hearts and souls into the bead making process, transforming plain glass into stunning treasures, we too have the power to shape our own narratives and create a meaningful tapestry of experiences. The exquisite craftsmanship of Trollbeads is only complete when you use them to tell your stories in your own unique way.