Blowing is a special technique that is used to create drawn and segmented beads. Blown glass beads are made from tubes that air is blown into. It is not clear exactly who created the technique for making these elegant beads.
One story suggests that a man who came from Passy, first realized that he could use a special type of guanine that was taken from the scales of fish to make the current beads that he had resemble pearls. During the seventeenth century, the man started coating beads with this special type of protein.
He would use wax to keep the protein inside of the beads, and also to supply the beads with a little bit more weight. The beads that this young man created were given the name of “Roman Pearls”. No one knows if the practices that this man engaged in gave birth to the modern day practice used for creating blown glass beads or not.
During the 1800s in Germany, another young man by the name of Hans Greiner invented a way to blow beads. He would place a silver material inside of the beads to give them a silver appearance. Greiner is responsible for introducing the beaded market to the act of placing metal molds under bellows in the beads and then blowing the beads to keep the molds intact.
Artisans in Czech Republic started producing hollow shaped beads. However, history has never made it clear why the individuals who were creating hollow beads started using a blowing technique to create elegant glass beads. The modern day practices that are currently used to create blown glass beads were apparently officially adopted in the nineteenth century.
Even though history does not give much mention to when blown glass beads first started officially being made, there is one thing that most avid beaders will agree on, that they are happy that the beads started being made in the first place. Despite what history tells us about blown glass beads, at the end of the day, beaders are just happy that they exist.