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GLASS BEADS / EVİL EYE BEADS IN ANATOLIA


Blue-coloured glass beads of Anatolian glassmaking were one of the glassware groups produced with the core moulding technique in 100-300 B.C.

Especially glass beads from the Roman period have been found all around Anatolia. These beads were produced with wrapping technique and all types of hot processing.

Having been through countless processes in thousands of years and coming from an amazing industry and design competition, Anatolian traditional glass artists have interestingly maintained the liveliness of an old heritage. These artists preserve art glass as an inherited art and continue to produce the traditionally-created works mostly without clearly knowing the reason.

Although beads are glass products, they are not exactly made of glass. Since beads can be melted down at low temperatures, they are between glass and vitriform. The simple furnaces utilized to make the beads generally do not emit heat at temperatures high enough to vitrify the material.

The glass in beads is the result of the physical, and not the chemical, combination in glass. Therefore, the raw materials an compositions used by bead making artists are rather complicated.

They contain essential glass materials; but, everyone can apply a different, specific technique for the making and shaping of the beads. For instance, the longer the processing time is, the darker the colour will be.
In this manner, totally different colours can be obtained by processing the very same combination. Thus, known combinations can be used to create unseen products.  This is the source of mastery in traditional glass bead making.

Mastery in traditional glass bead making lies in the room it allows for personal interpretation of bead making. All colours in the range between blue and green can be obtained using the same glass and the same composition.

Anatolia has a long history of glass culture and this work has continued for hundreds of years nearly by itself, as if it yielded a natural product. 

Conical sticks taken by glass makers from the furnace, one-piece plates of variable diameter in which beads of different sizes are rotated and shaped and beads of countless different shapes made on balanced tables without using any moulds...

The fact that they are able to shape molten glass in any way that is suited to their wishes with such a small number of tools is an outcome that has, in fact, been warranted by the deep-reaching roots of glassmaking.

Evil eye beads, on the other hand, are the product of a combination of various processes involved in the historical development of glass beads.

First, the glass maker produces a simple bead, on which other colours are placed one by one via hot processing. Once all steps included in this hot processing are completed, the resultant evil eye bead is reheated and pressed to its final shape.
Behind this seemingly simple process, however, lies a complicated system – the main work counter of the production system, the glass furnaces.

Bead furnaces are operated on generally similar principles; yet, different features are observed specifically in furnaces of different bead making families.

In Anatolia, these traditional furnaces are switched on in the morning and switched off when the glass material inside runs out or when the work is done. Then, the preformed glass beads are collected in the special cooling unit of the furnace and slowly cooled down with the furnace until the next morning.

In general, one of the most important questions in glassmaking is the ability to cool down the preformed glass slowly in a specified order and time frame. If this process is not carried out in a balanced order and time frame, the beads will be broken or cracked. 

As a result, the foundations of the thousands-year-old bead making tradition of Anatolia lie, above everything, in a sensitive and balanced furnace and heat technology. The glass bead furnaces of Anatolia are, therefore, what these glassmaking families know by heart.

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    Kapat
 

Source; Önder Küçükerman, Türkiye’nin Kültür Mirası, 100 Cam, Ntv yayınları, İst.2008
Önder Küçükerman, 3000 YıllıkAkdeniz Camcılığının Anadolu’daki Son İzleri-Göz Boncuğu, T.Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu Yayını,İst.1987
Gönül Paksoy, Koleksiyondan Kreasyona Boncuk, Kasım 2007

 
     
 
 
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