Artefacts and Ancient Beads

Artefacts and Ancient Beads

I often treat my glass beads in the flame to give them an aged appearance with a slightly rough, pitted surface in places. Recently I’ve been taking that a bit further and creating representations of ancient artefacts. I love making these miniature treasures and trying to make them look as if they could have been dug up after thousands of years.



Goddess beads are a bit like marmite. People love them or hate them. Some people even seem to find them offensive. Researching the subject just now, Google asked me to verify that I’m over 18.  Strange indeed in a world where primary schools have been asking parents to stop allowing their  under 11’s view the latest hit tv show due to the violent content. Other people love goddesses as a celebration of the female form representing fertility, mother earth and healing energies. I love the challenge of making them and enjoy seeing the variety of styles made by other lamp work artists.


I’ve also been making scarabs. These represent a beetle and were often carried in ancient Egypt either set into a ring or strung as beads. They were usually carved from stone or made from faience and had religious significance. Sometimes they were carved with hieroglyphs and used as seals.  




Another treasure from Egyptian times were canopic jars, used in their burial rites. These jars had heads representing various deities, the four sons of Horus who took the forms of a baboon, a jackal, a falcon and a man. I’ve made a couple of beads over the summer giving a miniature approximation of one of these jars. I find them quite challenging but I will be doing more.


I’m on the look out for other historic items to try and create in glass. If you have an ideas let me know. And for those of you who are interested, the secret of ageing the glass is quite simple. Bicarbonate of Soda or baking soda for those of you in the USA. I roll the hot glass in the powder and then burn it off in the flame. It makes the glass bubble a little leaving little pits in the surface.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.