BootsnAll Travel Network

Cedi Bead Factory

Hard to believe we’re still not done with the tour de Ghana posts, even though we finished the actual trip back in January. Lots of stuff has happened since then, and we will eventually blog about some of it. It would help if we thought that anyone was reading any of this. Anyone out there? Anyone?

On the last day of our tour de Ghana, we stopped at the Cedi Bead Factory. They make recycled glass beads here. Although many Ghanaian men, women and children wear beads, many of the beads made here are exported to Europe, Asia and North America. While we were there, they were fulfilling an order from Japan.

There’s more than one way to make recycled glass beads. One way is to start with glass that is already colored, such as green bottle glass. Another way is to start with clear glass and add color to it. In either case, the glass is ground up into fine particles, put into molds and then baked in an outdoor oven at a very high temperature.

bead oven

When the beads come out of the oven, their color is not apparent. This man places them in a basic cement basin and douses them with water.

before beads are washed

After they’ve been washed, you can see how pretty they are. These are particularly large beads.

after beads are washed

Many of the beads have designs on them. We thought at first that the designs were painted on, but actually they are created when the glass is still in powder form. The bead makers add different colors of powdered glass to the mold and create designs by moving the powder around with small, toothpick-like tools. The result is like a miniature version of those colored sand sculptures inside glass vases that you see for sale in sea shell shops at the beach in the US. When the beads bake, the color sets.

The entire procedure is extremely labor intensive. Each bead is made by hand.

This woman is stringing some finished beads to prepare them for sale.

stringing beads

Yes, we bought some. How could we not?

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7 Responses to “Cedi Bead Factory”

  1. brian Says:

    Hey ho!

    Any idea they get their recycled glass?

    Every time I get a drink at a spot/bar, the owner watches me like a hawk to make sure I don’t leave with the empty bottle.

    But wine bottles… What to do with all those wine bottles? Local shops looked at me like I had three heads when I asked about recycling.

  2. Mara Says:

    Will think of this next time I visit Beadazzled 🙂

  3. Posted from United States United States
  4. Jules Says:

    I’m reading ! I’m reading!
    Keep the journal coming 🙂

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  6. Moe from NPR Says:

    Your blog is amazing. I love reading it! I’m also jealous. Hope you guys are doing well 🙂
    I love the elephant pics. How EXCITING!!!!!!!

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  8. Gisele Says:

    Hi, Giselle! I read, too 🙂 Can you buy more of those beads? I’ll send you money & $ for shipping! They’re lovely!

  9. Posted from United States United States
  10. Giselle Says:

    Brian, they didn’t say where they get their recycled glass from, but they did have example s of bottles from which the recycled glass comes. They were ordinary beer, wine and soda bottles.

    Jules, Moe, Mara and Gisele, thanks for reading! Glad to know someone is out there. Guess I won’t quit posting then.

    Gisele, I’ll email you about beads.

  11. lori Says:

    Would love to get info on how to get these beads also. Hope it is not too late!

  12. Posted from United States United States