Re: Indonesian Recycled Glass Beads
Re: International recycled glass beads? -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
12/21/2020, 11:04:43

Hello Luann,

In the previous BC platform ( there were some discussions related to lapidary-worked glass beads, and those from Indonesia versus those from West Africa. These are no longer available to be viewed. A lot of significant discussion was lost with the changeover.

In the 1990s Indonesian beads were routinely called "television"—and were said to have been made via recycling the screens of useless (broken) televisions. (NOT the "tubes"—which would have been thin mechanically-blown fragile glass. The screen glass would be much thicker, as its purpose was to protect the tube, and to be a surface that could be cleaned—as we know from any previously typical television sets.)

In the early 2000s, African-made lapidary-worked clear glass beads were (out of the blue) ALSO then referred to as "television." I made the assumption that Africans glommed-onto the name from exposure to Indonesian beads (and bead-naming). Either while traveling in Indonesia, or at some Bead Show where such beads were offered.

My proposition was immediately challenged by Kirk Stanfield, who thought it was a ridiculous suggestion. I can only say that my ideas came from my experience. Although Africans have made lapidary-worked glass beads for much longer than there were any modern Indonesian glass industries, it wasn't until AFTER the Indo beads were made and offered for sale that I ever saw African beads also being referred to as "television."

In a way, you have fooled yourself into thinking your beads are "African" by calling them "recycled glass beads"—which is what African glass beads are routinely called. I call these "lapidary-worked glass beads." And, of course, the implication is or may be that such glass is recycled from glass that was originally something else. In West Africa, a lot of glass came from bottles, cosmetic jars, and whatever was available and interesting (and cheap). In recent years, window louvers have been used, because they have been available in many colors. And some glassworkers (i.e. Cedi) have used imported Bull's Eye glass. (I bought some red beads in 2005.)

And, by the way, the Chinese have made lapidary-worked glass ornaments for centuries. They probably only began making hot-worked (furnace-wound) plain beads for export in the late Ming Dynasty (ca. CE 1600 or later).

The link I show here is the earliest BC.N post I could find, where I discuss Indonesian glass beads. And the topic of lapidary-working is a side issue, in relation to the beads being discussed.


Related link:
Modified by Beadman at Mon, Dec 21, 2020, 11:05:37

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