Looking For Beads
May 7, 2010 5:33 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a source of 3-4mm straight tubular glass beads to finish the exposed edge of a row of wall tile. The length of the beads should not be over 15mm. I have been searching jewelry beading supply houses and have only been able to find .02mm diameter bugle (straight tubular) beads which are too small to cover the exposed edge of the tile. I am willing to consider other materials (SS hypo tubing?) if glass is impossible to find. Any ideas?
posted by Raybun to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does it have to be hollow? If you're OK with solid glass rods, there's lampwork canes. They come in all colors, levels of opaqueness and diameter.
posted by jamaro at 5:58 PM on May 7, 2010

Try Rings and Things. Excellent customer service, too.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:58 PM on May 7, 2010

Oops, sorry, hit enter before I was done. I was going to say, after over 30 years of designing jewelry, they are probably the best source I know of, and I'm including wholesale places. If they don't have it, chances are, no one does.

You could also check Fire Mountain Gems, but while they used to be a good company, in the last several years I've heard nothing but complaints about them.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:02 PM on May 7, 2010

I used a quarter round MDF molding piece. A quarter round dowel would work too.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:20 PM on May 7, 2010

You might check out your local bead stores. One with a good selection will probably have something like this. Maybe one of the Czech bead styles would work for you.

Buying glass rods/canes for lampworking will probably be cheaper. (The canes themselves have not been lampworked, generally speaking. Twistie or latticino would cost a good deal more, and not be a solid color.)

How exposed is this edge? If things will be bumping into it at all, you should have the glass rods annealed. Borosilicate will hold up better, but it should still be annealed. Cut the pieces to length with a tile saw and take them to someone with a kiln who can anneal the type of glass that you have. Stained glass shops would be a good place to check, for the raw materials as well as the annealing.
posted by yohko at 10:11 PM on May 7, 2010

Fire Mountain Gems is fine - I've never had any issues, and I've ordered from them for years. They have fantastic sales and a much better website than Rings and Things - although Rings and Things can have better deals on a few select items.
posted by agregoli at 5:29 PM on May 10, 2010

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