Exploring Traditional Glass Bead Making Techniques in Jewellery
Exploring traditional glass bead making techniques in jewellery in some prominent areas in Ghana is a means to exposing the area for metal and ceramic artists and other related fields of discipline such as aesthetics and criticism to complement their form of art for a better livelihood and diversification in jewellery. There are several methods for producing glass beads in other countries. Emphasis is placed on traditional technique in some areas in Ghana as well as the processes involved which are mostly identified by the indigenous or traditional glass bead makers. Materials for glass bead making are very cheap and readily available as compared to other materials for bead making such as metal, stone and others. One needs not become an artist before engaging in glass bead making, because the techniques or skills involved are not complex and can be learnt easily. Glass bead making techniques and their mass production will help the individual and the nation to earn foreign exchange from the export market. This publication, therefore, seeks to demonstrate and expose the traditional techniques of glass bead making to artists in Ghana and other parts of the world. It is also a means to solving the problem of export diversification from traditional exports such as gold, timber and cocoa to compete with other products on the world market. This will as well complement other forms of local jewellery for export in Ghana. Experimental and Descriptive research methods were used. Critical observation of the materials, tools, equipment and the technique were paramount in this research. Interviews were also conducted to authenticate the facts gathered. It is recommended that artists, institutions and the small scale industries attach much importance to the production of glass beads for livelihood and export by improving on the techniques of production.
Keywords: livelihood, vitreous, glass bottles, furnace, threading