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"Fire-polished" faceted beads are a less expensive alternative to hand-cut faceted glass or crystal.
They derive their name from the second half of a two-part process: first, the glass batch is poured into round bead molds, then they are faceted with a grinding wheel.
Most of these glass subtypes are some form of fused glass, although goldstone is created by controlling the reductive atmosphere and cooling conditions of the glass batch rather than by fusing separate components together.
Dichroic glass beads incorporate a semitransparent microlayer of metal between two or more layers.
The faceted beads are then poured onto a tray and briefly reheated just long enough to melt the surface, "polishing" out any minor surface irregularities from the grinding wheel.
There are several specialized glassworking techniques that create a distinctive appearance throughout the body of the resulting beads, which are then primarily referred to by the glass type.
If the glass batch is used to create a large massive block instead of pre-shaping it as it cools, the result may then be carved into smaller items in the same manner as stone.
Conversely, glass artisans may make beads by lampworking the glass on an individual basis; once formed, the beads undergo little or no further shaping after the layers have been properly annealed.
The pegboard for bead designs was invented in the early 1960s (patented 1962, patent granted 1967) by Gunnar Knutsson in Vällingby, Sweden, as a therapy for elderly homes; the pegboard later gained popularity as a toy for children.Beads are still made from many naturally occurring materials, both organic (i.e., of animal- or plant-based origin) and inorganic (purely mineral origin).However, some of these materials now routinely undergo some extra processing beyond mere shaping and drilling such as color enhancement via dyes or irradiation.Amber and jet are also of natural organic origin although both are the result of partial fossilization.
The natural inorganics include various types of stones, ranging from gemstones to common minerals, and metals.
A bead is a small, decorative object that is formed in a variety of shapes and sizes of a material such as stone, bone, shell, glass, plastic, wood or pearl and with a small hole for threading or stringing.