Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Garbage Glass Made Gorgeous - Indonesian Recycled Glass

So, recently, I've really been into recycled glass beads.  Something about it's organic, rough, rigidity that offers a lot of appeal.  It reminds me of the beach, the ocean and the sand.  It comes in a variety of colours, but I'm particulary fond of the greens and blues.  Recycled glass beads come mainly from Indonesia and Africa.  The process used in making these beads is quite labor intensive and requires a substantial amount of time.  Scrap glass is first collected, sorted by colour and then crushed by hand into something called frit.  This frit is then placed in molds coated with clay.  The molds are heated in a kiln until the glass melts.  Sometimes, the beads are worked and shaped before the glass has completely cooled.  An awl maybe used to create the hole.  Other times, a cassava stem is used to create the hole.  The stem is inserted into the frit and burns up during the heating process, leaving a hole behind.  Below are some of my recycled glass creations:

I know that there's more of you out there that love recycled glass as much as I do.  I'd love to see your pics, your ideas and how you use these beautiful beads.