The Secret of Madilika Beads
Unique giftware that sets this curio shop apart from the rest
Each bead is handcrafted at the centre, using bottles donated by the local lodges:
- The wine and beer bottles are delivered by the lodges to the craft centre,
- The bottles are cleaned and sorted by colour.
- Like coloured bottles are placed in the attritor which crushes them into a fine powder.
- A binder is added to the powder, leading to the creation of a clay-like substance
- Beads are naturally coloured by the original colour in the glass, for variations, the artisans add a colourant.
- The ‘glass clay’ is then hand-rolled into beads by the artisans.
- Once shaped, the beads are baked in a kiln, which produces a hardened ceramic with a shiny surface.
- The finished beads are then used by the women who creatively design a variety of jewellery and ornamental products.
With the initial equipment funded by Africa Foundation, this innovative use of recycled materials keeps production costs low while having a positive impact on the environment.