Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Introduction: Discovering Krobo Beads
Krobo Bead Styles come in several beautiful colours and shapes. Ghana artisanal beads are very popular worldwide because of their variety. Here in Australia for instance, the growing popularity of ethical jewellery means more poeple prefer recylced glass beads.
Did you know that the Krobo people of Ghana have been making artisanal beads for centuries? They are very good craftsmen and women. For this reason, I buy my recycled glass beads directly from Cedi Bead factory in Krobo Odumase Ghana. I buy other jewellery making materials from local traders to support the economy.
Ghana Krobo beads are popular for their unique and wide range of styles. You can find these four main Krobo bead styles in my handmade jewellery collection. Here, I describe the Krobo Bead Styles followed by the attributes. Then, I list the common uses of the Krobo bead styles.
- Definition: Clear or translucent beads allow light to pass through. The effect is sparkling and luminous. Image No 7, feature 1 clear recyled glass bead set next to a powedered glass or opaque green bead. They male elegant bracelets when used alternately on a single strand.
- Unique Attributes: Special beads are dearer because of their ethereal beauty and versatile use. In fact they complement any outfit or jewellery design. These type of beads are subtle and elegant.
- Common Uses: I use clear beads as focal points in jewellery pieces. Also, they add transparent beads as accents to add a touch of shimmer and sophistication to jewellery.
Powdered Glass Beads:
- Definition: Artisans create powdered glass beads by grinding glass into a fine powder. They then heat it until it melts and forms into beads. (Images 4 and 8 are examples of powdered glass beads. Bue glass makes deep blue beads.
- Unique Attributes: These beads exhibit a rich and vibrant colour palette. Usually, each bead will showcase a unique blend of hues and patterns.
- Common Uses: Powdered glass beads are popular for their bold and eye-catching appearance, making them ideal for statement jewellery pieces and eclectic designs.
Painted Glass Beads:
- Definition: Once the beads form and cool inside the clay molds), skilled artisans then embellish the glass beads with special bead paint (see 6). The men create intricate designs and patterns with their hands. To do this, they use colourful paints or dyes. This is am important step in bead making because it adds visual interest and depth to the beads. (Refer to Images 3 and 6. Chevron designs are sinple straight lines while more intricate designs feature zigzag line. This parttern is a typical handpainted glass bead. Now bead designs are endless, making it popular among ethnic jewellery designers.
- Unique Attributes: Handpainted glass beads are one-of-akind and therefore more expensive. They take time to decorate by hand. Examples of designs you will find on Krobo beads Adinkra symbols and Gye Nyame symbol. You see, when we pay asking price for handpainted jewellery, we support the artistry and craftsmanship of local artisans. Did you know that each bead tells a unique story? In fact, intricate motifs and symbols represent cultural and wellness naratives.
- Common Uses: I use painted glass beads in my ethical jewellery collection. The intricate bead designs make interesting contemporary designs Australians love. I achieve a perfect blend of traditional heritage and craftsmanship with these adorable necklace.
- Definition: Seed beads are smaller types of seed beeds. Now, you can buy seed beads made from different materials. See image 5, it feature small seed beads made from glass materials. Seed beads make great spacer beads and intricate bead jewellery.
- Unique Attributes: Unique beads are truly special and one-of-a-kind. As such, they can be dearer than your avarage bead. Moreover, their unique appearance makes good intricate beadwork. Crafters around the world use them for embroidery and weaving projects.
- Common Uses: Seed beads form an important part of in beadwork. For instance in traditional Ghanaian Krobo beadwork, they serve as space beads. Additionally, they help jewellery designer achieve more intricate jewellery designs.
Now, the above Krobo Bead Styles describe the appearance of Ghana artisanal beads. Did you know that there are other ways to group handcrafted beads? Below, are the other types of artisanal beads describing the process instead of the style.
Types of Krobo Beads: A Rainbow of Choices
- Powder Glass Beads: Artisans grind rescued glass into a fine powder. After that, they heat the powder inside clar molds. The glass powder melts to form colourful blobs or beads. The shapes of the beads form as artisan turns them inside the clay mold using bodkin. Watch the process from my African Diaspora Lens channel. Once the beads cool, you can touch and feel the stunning jewellery.
- Recycled Glass Beads: As the name suggests, these types of beads come from recycled glass. Watch my youtube channel to see how old bottles or windows become stunning beads. Did you know that eco-friendly and vibrant accessories help save the environment?. Buy ethical jewellery today from my shop.
- Sand Cast Beads: Sand casting is a traditional technique. They make intricate bead designs. Firstly, artisans pour molten glass into a mold made from sand. Sandy molds give the beads their unique texture and detail. Ghana Krobo Bead Styles are truly unique.
Celebrating the Diversity of Ghana Krobo Bead Types
Krobo bead types and styles allows people in the diaspora to clebrate the rich cultural diversity of Ghana. For this reason the unique attributes and charm of artisanal jewellery become fashion statement. So, whether it’s the ethereal beauty of clear beads, it remains adorable. In fact, the boldness of powdered glass beads, makes it a top choice among ethnic jewellery designers.
Let’s take another look at the artistry of hand painted recycled glass beads. Their magical handpainted designs are simply nostalgic. Last but not least is the versatile seed beads. So, with four different Krobo bead types, there’s certainly something for every jewellery enthusiast to admire and cherish. I invite you to explore the rich tapestry of Ghanaian beadwork. It is so easy to add a touch of cultural flair to your jewellery collection today!
I am organising a small group cultural tour to Odumase Krobo, Ghana to explore the Cedi Bead Factory. They would be other interesting places to visit such as Akwamufie Museum and the Akwamu Palace. Also lined up would be a memorable visit to the Akosombo Dam and a thrilling ride on Dodi Princess Ferry.
Lilian Abbew is the visionary founder of Akos Creative, driven by a passion for cultural diversity and wellness. With a background in community support, Lilian utilizes her creative platform to empower individuals and celebrate the richness of global heritage. Through her writing and advocacy, she fosters connections and inspires positive change. Follow Lilian’s journey on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram for insights into her work and cultural experiences. Don’t miss out on her captivating videos on the African Diaspora Lens YouTube channel, where she shares immersive insights into diverse cultures. Join Lilian on her mission to cultivate understanding and appreciation for our world’s cultural tapestry.