JC04 Java-made Chevrons



Turquoise & red Java-made glass chevron strands. Beads approx 6-9mm(D) x 6-9mm(L). Most strands graduated in size to greater or lesser extent. Approx 22″ strands.

$25 strand (discounts for larger quantities, please inquire)

The difference between Java-made chevrons and historical Venetian chevrons is in the method of manufacturing.

Historical Venetian chevrons (and later artist-made and Chinese chevrons) were made utilizing a blown glass technique with the use of a star-patterned mould to create the star or “chevron” pattern on all layers of glass added on to the original core color. While the glass is still hot and pliable this “bubble” of glass is then drawn into a long cane (the air pocket from the bubble remains and forms the hole as the glass is stretched) from which chevrons beads would be cut and shaped.

Javanese (and Indian) chevrons are made with a very different process (though the latter stage of pulling cane and cutting is same). In India and Java hot strips of glass are gathered and fused to form a roughly star-patterned gather of glass (if viewed from the end). From there a bubble is blown in the gather which will create the bead hole when pulled into a longer cane. The cane is then cut down and ground into shape for individual beads.

The defining factor that stands out the most between the two methods is that when the Java chevrons are viewed on end the edges of the glass layers tend to be less well-defined, the stars less sharply pointed. Nonetheless…in the hands of skilled glass workers the beads have a very similar look.

Unfortunately the industry is now flooded with some Java-made, but many more Indian-made chevrons, that unscrupulous dealers are trying to pass off as Venetian, which command a much higher price. This is particularly true of online dealers. Misleading choice of wording (word salad!) is used to imply something is one thing when it is not. Hands of the Hills has NO interest in muddying the waters between what is made where and what you are buying. Venetian chevrons date back to the late 15th century and continue to be made to this day. We have sold those in the past as well. The Java chevrons started to be produced in the late 1980s and the skilled artisans have mastered their technique and are creating small works of art in their own right. They can be seen as both a replica of the older chevron beads and something beautiful on their own merit.