As a retailer I am over the moon when stock sells well.  And then when I want to re-stock I often find to my horror beadmaker doesn't have and won't make any more!  Puzzling, right?  

I read that the reason for the growth of the Ghana bead-making industry is the ability of the designers to come up with new ones all the time. While bead-making in other parts of the continent have declined, Ghana seems to go from strength to strength.

If you see something you like, grab as much of it as you can; it may not be available next time you come back!!!

A combination of the three types of glass bead - translucent, powder and painted - has resulted in many more pretty and unusual ones:

1.  Multi-tone Translucent Beads

translucent glass beads made with more than one colour of used glass items

Round multi-tone translucent glass beads

Initially you could find translucent beads in only one plain colour.  More and more, a combination of colours is avalable.  More than one colour of glass is crushed and heated just enough to fuse, resulting in a slightly grainy surface and they come in a variety of shapes.

multi-tone translucent disc beads

Translucent disc beads and multi-tone red grape

translucent cube beads in multiple blue tones

Translucent cuboid beads in multiple blue tones

2.  Painted Translucent Beads

painted translucent beads

Painted translucent beads

The blue and white beads above came in one order as a pleasant surprise; translucent beads were just that, but now some have opaque hand-painted designs on them.

painted translucent glass beads

So far I haven't seen translucent multi-tone painted ones. Could it be the next pleasant surprise? Watch this space!

3. Translucent & Powder Glass Combined

a combination of translucent and powder glass beads

Refashioned glass beads made from translucent and opaque beads

I knew all powder glass beads to be opaque whether in a single, simple or multicoloured and complex designs.  And so a combination of translucent and opaque  made out of broken seed beads, and without the addition of the usual colourant is a delightful surprise.

translucent and opaque disc beads made from refashioned seed beads

Instead of using different colour layers of powdered glass, a variety of broken seed beads - opaque and translucent - is the means by which the 3 colours in the spacer discs have been achieved.

4. Opaque Refashioned Powder Glass Beads

Some interesting effects result from using only opaque broken seed beads of different colours which I imagine saves quite a lot of time.  

opaque powder glass beads made from broken seed beads

Opaque refashioned glass powder beads

opaque refashioned powder glass beads

I recently learnt that at the end of each day, all leftover glass powder is combined into one batch of beads known as "end of day".   Behold the resulting surpirse of that day:

opaque refashioned glass beads

End of day powder glass beads

Through the initiative and creativity of the artisan many more variations of glass bead types are possible and available and there certainly is some excitement in not knowing what I'll find at the bead maker's or the market next time I go shopping!  And I hope that keeps you coming back to find out too.

Please send your comments.