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28mm Barrel (5) - Black w. Colours (Furnace-Wound) - Glass Vintage Replica Trade Beads

$12.50 AUD

Measurements:  28mm long x 15~18mm wide with a 3~4~5mm threading hole (the holes in these beads seem to be smaller at one end - to be safe, use nothing thicker than a 3mm cord).  Indian manufactured beads can be a bit inconsistent in size, so measurements are approximate.

Quantity per pack:  5 beads - chosen at random (beads may vary from the photos as each bead is individual - photo is a guide only).

Colours:  These beads are on a base of opaque black glass, and slices of decorative canes have been wrapped around the base!  The canes used have so many colours!  I can see purple, red, green, yellow, white, orange, grey, brown and blue - pretty much every colour under the sun! 

Origin:  Hand Made in India - We believe this bead to be a reproduction of a Trade Bead.

Method:  "Furnace winding. A low-domed clay furnace under a tin roof open at the sides accommodates a dozen workers squatting in front of individual ports  Wood is fed below ground, with a floor in the furnace (open at the centre) holding the glass away from direct flames.  The worker builds a bead by rolling a bit of glass onto an iron rod (mandrel or pontil).  He withdraws it from the furnace and may choose to leave it round or shape it on a flat plate or with a small steel scoop.  Simple beads are knocked off the rod (which, being of iron, contracts faster than the glass) into a small clay pot kept just outside the protective door of his port.  The beads cool slowly in the pot (anneal), preventing internal stresses from cracking them............Furnace-wound beads have black iron oxide hole deposits." This is an excerpt taken from - The World of Beads Monograph 7 - The Glass Beads of India - Peter Francis Jr. 

There are random patterns all over these ones, swirls, patches, patterns, circles - every bead is absolutely different.  These beads have been made over a central core, with slices of decorative canes over the top and they are then rolled. You can actually see in between where some of the canes haven't joined completely.  I was totally amazed when I looked closely at the detail on these beads.  Traditionally in Africa these beads were made with recycled broken Venetian glass beads.  The patterning swirls around the beads, but each bead is really different to the next.  You can see the joins where some of the glass meets!  

These could be used for multiple crafty ideas including decorating your own table cloth weights because they are quite a large bead.  Or incorporate one or two into an eclectic necklace strand.  Use as a feature bead or beads on a necklace, or one at the front of a bracelet.  Or just keep them as treasures in your stash!  You might even like to put them out in a bowl for a talking point in your home.

Bead Shack made a huge bead haul around 2007, and these beads were quite old before that.  The man we purchased them from used to collect large hauls of beads that became available, so who knows how long ago they were made!  Our best guess would be around 1980s.