Beads have been around for over 40,000 years and they have been made by every culture since then. Glass beads were being made in Egypt and Lebanon as far as 1365 B.C. archeological sites have also proven the presence of bead factories in countries such as China.
Before European beads came to the Americas, North American beads were initially made from bones, jade blue-green stone turquoise as well as gold. These beads were used to decorate clothing. Since the early days, . It is astonishing to think that they have been around for so many centuries.
Venice in Italy is thought to be the major source of glass beads that were later used for trade. The people of Venice held a monopoly of the bead that span for over 600 years. There even existed a guild of Venetian glass makers. In 1291, a majority of the glass making industry were shifted to a small island known as Murano
Beads were produced in Murano for over 200 years by making use of two methods referred to as “winding” and blown glass beads. Demand for beads was met by making use of these two methods of production. The Europeans that started sending ships throughout the world they would take beads made of glass, porcelain and metal with them.
China is also thought to be a source of glass beads for trade. Beads from China made their way to Mexico by way of the Spaniards who went there to trade via the trade route that linked Acapulco, Manila and Chinese ports. From Mexico, the beads made their way to the Americas.
Most of my designs also contain modern glass and stone beads selected to compliment the older more collectable and much more expensive ones. If you need more information on the beads I use please email me
All purchases over £50 in total ( you'd have to spend over £150 in Astley Clarke to get this! ) will be sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery (next day service) Other items sent first class, also free