AND NOW, FOR A SHORT COURSE IN HOW TO MAKE AFRICAN BEADS
We visited Cedi Beads in the Krobo region. Beads are made by local crafstmen
and then shipped to the US and Germany, two countries where there is a
very good market for these beads. Interestingly, they are not so easy to find
in Ghana. In the US, most are sold in California. Go figure...
So here's what we learned about how to make them.
|First, you go through the whole process with Mr. Cedi himself.|
|Here is how the process starts. You crush colored glass from discarded|
bottles and place the fragments in these clay molds. Only 7 to a mold;
otherwise they cool off too fast and the worker cannot puncture them
to make the center hole.
|Then it's into the oven, which is 700-800 degrees.|
|A view of the oven/furnace from afar.|
|Out of the oven and the worker pushes a pin through the center. He rolls|
the soft glass around the mold to form it into a shape he wants.
|A close-up view. The material on the outside washes off later on in the process.|
The beads are then cooled and polished, a process I didn't witness...