We create all our jewellery using beads made out of glass. From the way they look, people are surprised to hear it's not plastic! Glass is an eco-friendly, durable alternative to plastic. We use 'seed beads' which are a specific type of glass beads. 

 

What exactly is a glass seed bead? 

Glass seed beads are small, equally-sized shaped beads that have a hollow hole in the middle, like a doughnut. They come in a wide variety of sizes, patterns, finishes and shapes. 

Where are your beads sourced?

Seed beads are created all around the world. However, the highest quality glass beads are sourced in Japan or the Czech Republic. In Japan they are famously manufactured by Matsuno in Osaka, Toho in Hiroshima and Miyuki in Hiroshima. The Czech manufacturers are mainly Preciosa. Rhimani's jewellery uses these beads from Japan and the Czech Republic.

How are the beads made? 

Essentially the glass is melted into the correct shape, and it is then covered in a metal colour finish.

Glass is put into a melting pot, then compressed air is added and used to force the melting glass into a specific hole at the bottom of the pot. This then creates a 'glass column' or a 'glass rod' that comes out the other end of the pot. This rod has a hole in the middle. The glass tubes are then cooled, cut in metre lengths and stored in colour. Afterwards, either with a machine, or by hand, they are cut into the specific bead sizes.

To finish them off, these beads are then reheated with carbon powder to provide smoothness, before before being washed and then reheated in a kiln to give a gloss. 

 

This is a video from Preciosa Traditional Czech Beads that highlights the process.