Pressed Beads Production Secrets

Bead Blog - Czech glass beads - Hearts

The pressed beads have appeared in the middle of the 19th century when the technical progress has invented pressing machines. Thanks to the production technology these beads have the identical size and shape.

The Manufacturing Process of the pressed beads is faster and productive than the production of Fire Polish Beads or Machine Cut Beads. In small workshops it begins with punching of beads in forms. Forms are fixed in pincers or in special cutting-and-molding machine. Throughout decades the machine was served manually. Beadmakers have started to use a drive from an electric motor only in the early 60’s. The master makes an aperture in a bead putting “the warmed up” bead on a metal core. Then glass is passed through the special form-press. After that the bead is polished to remove the seam which has remained from passing of glass through the press.

Czech glass beads - Shell light-blue

Larger beads are stamped by one piece; the smaller beads are placed by 2 and more pieces in the same form. Forms should be precisely adjusted, as well as metal cores which help to pierce the beads during punching.

Thanks to this technology there is a possibility to give various shapes to the glass beads. Beads are manufacturing in different kinds: with a hole, without a hole, with one aperture, with two apertures etc. The way of punching sideways makes more difficult shapes: olives, daggers, tears, flowers, leaves, hearts, snails, roses, fluted round beads etc.

Pressed Beads MakingFor pressed beads production in big factories glass bars are used. Bars have the length 120 cm (47.2′) and diameter nearby 3 cm (1.2′). Glass bars heat up in the furnace at a temperature of about 800-900°C and from the melted glass, semi-finished products are pressed. After pressing it is necessary to relieve a product of superfluous glass, seams and grains. The beads are brought in the wooden barrel and the seams and grains are removed during the barrel rotation. Then the beads and waste products are separated on a vibration screen. A sieve has different sizes of apertures depending on the size of beads.

Bead Blog - Czech glass beads - Oval pinched

After this operation the beads may still have the rests of the seams, glass dust and scratches. Therefore production proceeds, and there comes a polishing with water, sand and other additions. The beads are brought into tumbling barrel together with glass sand and water, and during the rotation of the drum, they get smooth and glossy look. The resulting beads are either a finished product already, called pressed beads, or they may serve for further treatment. The pressed beads are lustred in polishing barrels or they may have matt finish. The process of polishing needs several hours. This phase of the pressed beads manufacturing demands perfection, dexterity and experience of masters to make the final product actually smooth and lustrous. At the final stage the pressed glass beads are “washed” in a butt with water.

The pressed glass beads have the Colour And Coating Classification as the most types of Czech Glass Beads.

 

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