Beads in a Modern Context
No Strings should have opened to the public back in March 2020 but was unable to due to the Covid-19 closure of National Glass Centre. Our curator Julia Stephenson has recorded a short video tour of the new exhibition so you can 'visit' from the comfort of home. We hope you enjoy it.
The first glass beads were made one at a time by winding hot glass around a metal rod. To support a faster and greater production process, molten glass was blown and drawn out to form long, hollow tubes, which were cooled and cut into small, even beads (rocaille). In the 15th century, this technique was refined by the master glassmakers on Murano in Italy to make tiny beads for embroidery, an industry which continued well into the 20th century in Italy, Czechoslovakia, Germany and France. Today, glass beads are primarily made in countries including India, the Czech Republic, Japan, China and Taiwan.