The search for beautiful beads for bracelets took me all over Ghana, from Accra (the home of TK Beads) to the Volta Region (where Cedi’s Bead Factory is located) to the famous West African Bead Market in Kofuridua. The finished products of handmade recycled glass bead bracelets are shown below.

Ghanaian Glass bracelents

Recycled glass bead bracelets made from crushed glass bottles and pigment.

Bead bracelets.

Recycled glass bead bracelets.

At Cedi’s bead factory, workers showed the entire process, from crushing glass bottles, to painting designs on the beads, to firing them in a kiln made with old car parts and termite mound mud.

At Cedi's bead factory, one of the artisans shows us the molds that they put crushed glass powder into to form beads. When the beads are semi-liquid, they poke the holes in them.

Polishing the beads means scrubbing them with water and sands to grind off any irregularities.

The West African Bead Market is held under the blazing sun every Thursday in a little town on the trade route between Accra and Kumasi.

West African Beads Market

Strings of waist beads, which women use for jewelry around their waist, wrists, and ankles, shine in the sun.

West African Beads Market

Beads displayed for sale in the bright sunshine.


About Sarah Elle

My home is Alaska.
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