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Mass Produced Beads
In today's economic market almost everything you purchase will be mass-produced in another country by varying degrees of skilled workers repeating a process. Factors such as population increases, technology and increased disposable cash has changed the face of production forever. Consumers are demanding more goods and services at cheaper prices. Demand has pushed manufacturers to remain competitive by cutting production costs. Outsourcing production, using cheaper materials and cutting corners is a means to reduce costs of finished products. Countries that have large amounts of cheap and unskilled labour are perfect for outsourcing as employees demand very little of their time and will work in extreme or hazardous conditions without................
In recent times some Beadmakers have been looking to value add their beads by incorporating precious metal cores to their handcrafted beads to tempt customers who are interested in the latest fashion craze - Pandora or Biagi style jewellery.
After reading some tutorials, I attempted to silver core some of my beads for this purpose using the hand dapping method. I managed to get this to work after some practice but was interested in finding a quicker method which would facilitate a higher turnover of beads, as hand dapping is time consuming. With that in mind I purchased the Retro Glass Bead Liner and what follows is my opinion of the tool when lining small, big hole beads suitable for Pandora/Biagi/Troll style jewellery...................
A Lesson with Akihiro Ohkama at Nara, Japan
It was with a sense of great excitement that I emailed Akihiro Ohkama in December 2007 asking if I could have a private lesson with him while my husband Bob and I were in Japan in February 2008. When the answer came back "Yes", the excitement turned to fear. New glass, new torch, new country, foreign language - what had I done?
February finally arrived and we were in Japan. After our brief stint of sightseeing, Bob went to Niseko to ski and I stayed in Nara for the lesson. Aki met me at the railway station and we walked to his stufio and shop in the "Craftsmen's Tenements" at Nishinokyo, a suburb of Nara. The Crafstmen's Tenements is a collection of studios and shops for 6 traditional Japanese craftspeople.............
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