Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Krobo Beads

If you are a total glass geek like me... you just love knowing about all kinds of glassy goodness, right? That's why I was totally fascinated by Krobo Beads.

Krobo glass beads are made by West African tribesman in Ghana. They use glass from recycled windshields to create a glass powder. A flat rock is placed on the ground and covered with a cloth. A bottomless bucket is placed on top and filled with shards of windshield glass. A tribesman sits with his feet on the rims of the bucket and uses a recycled drive shaft to pulverize the glass.

Color is added and the powders are added to vertical molds. A stick is used to create the hole and burns  off during firing. The beads are then hand painted with their version of enamels and fired again. The only time a machine is used is at the very end when the bead ends are ground to smooth out any rough edges. The resulting beads are really rustic and beautiful!

There are several importers here in the states selling Krobo beads. There is a wonderful slide show on the Ananse Village website and here is a video made by Unique African Arts.

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