Recycled glass beads are a favorite for the natural color and beauty they add to a space. But do you know the story of where they come from?

Here at Marea Home, our recycled glass beads are sourced from Ghana, Africa, where they have a long history within Ghanian culture, believed to hold healing powers and assist with passage to the afterlife. 

Seaside Recycled Glass Beads | Marine Recycled Glass Beads

The production of recycled glass beads is a work-intensive process conducted by skilled artisans, both men and women.

First, recyclable glass is collected from a variety of materials (from soda, beer and wine bottles, to old windows and other scrap glass). The glass is cleaned and dried to remove any impurities.

Once clean, the glass is broken into many small pieces, and the further crushed until each piece is no more than 5 millimeters in size.

Extra Large Seaside Recycled Glass Beads | Ocean Recycled Glass Beads

Next, to shape the actual bead, the crushed glass is placed into a clay mould. Each mould is handmade by artisans with small pockets for two to ten beads, depending on size.

With the crushed glass fitted into each pocket, the mould is placed into a kiln and heated for roughly 30 minutes at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the crushed glass begins to fuse, the mold is temporarily taken out of the kiln so the artisan can create a hole. Using a pointed tool, a hole is created and the mould is placed back in the oven for a little longer.

Rosa Recycled Glass Beads | Ocean Recycled Glass Beads

Finally, it’s time to add the finishing touches. After cooling, the beads are polished by hand using sand, water, and a special stone. The beads are then washed to remove any sand or residue, and they are ready to be strung with West African raffia. They are then sold in the local market or to partnering organizations like that which we source from!

We love that each bead strand is not mass produced, but hand-crafted by skilled artisans. By purchasing our glass beads, not only do you get a one-of-a-kind product, but you're helping support fair trade in developing African nations. 

February 03, 2023