Beads are the oldest form of art dating back to the days of the Ancient Egyptians.
Glass beads are one of the most common beads that make up artwork and jewelry. Most types of beads end up into three categories, wound beads, drawn beads and molded beads. The wound beads are the earliest form of beads in history. They were made by using a winding method hence the name of them. While these beads are still hot they can be reshaped into different shapes and sizes. They can be clear glass as well as colored glass.
Drawn glass beads go as far back as the 2nd century. These types of beads were the single most traded item in history. The main trade in beads occurred between the islands of the Pacific to Great Zimbabwe. There are a couple of different methods of making these types of beads. Different cultures have different methods. In some cultures the glass would be pulled into a long cane and they were drawn to certain lengths before being cut that is how the name came to be. Another name for drawn beads is seed beads.
Molded beads costs more in labor to make than the other beads because they had to be heated to a molten state and then fed into a machine that stamps the glass and then a needle goes through the hole in order for the beads to be put together. These types of beads were molded in shapes and then pressed. These types of beads were popular in the 19th and 20th century where they were a part of the trade in Africa.