BMLW3 – Lost Wax Brass Bead Strand, 15mm Orb Cages, Ghana

Lost Wax Brass Bead Strand, 18 mm, Ghana, BMLW2

Afghan Tribal Arts specializes in vintage textiles, gemstone beads, and tribal rugs. This piece is being sold through Artizan Made and ships from Paducah, Kentucky, USA. Free shipping worldwide on purchases from Afghan Tribal Arts over $250.


Only 1 left in stock


Orb cages, where the wax was used to build round boxes. These brass beads look great as focal beads on a necklace,  but can be used in many other ways, too.  How about making fun light pulls?

The opening on each end is quite wide and easily accommodates the thick natural twine that they are strung on. A patina on the metal gives a slight variation in color to each of the beads. Every bead is first made in wax so they are each different and vary somewhat in size.

Average Dimensions:

Bead Size: .75″ (18 mm) long, .7″ (15 mm) diameter
Strand Length: 24 inches (60 centimeters) Around 30 beads per strand

Please examine the photos carefully. We have made every attempt to get as close to the color as possible, but different monitors do interpret these colors differently. And, you will notice that the sizes of the beads do vary from strand to strand. Flaws, hairline cracks and uneven finishing is part of this handmade process.

This video does a good job of showing the steps used in casting these kinds of beads. It does not show how the original wax piece is constructed, which would have been interesting, too:



From the dictionary of beads:

Lost-Wax Casting In Africa

The Baoulé people of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa are members of the Akan group that also includes the Ashanti. The Akan have used the lost-wax, or cire-perdue, casting method for centuries. Their first ornaments were probably made of locally mined gold. Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, was first brought across the Sahara by Arab camel caravans and later to West African ports by European trading ships. Today beads and ornaments are still made by this ancient method in Ghana and the Ivory Coast—in gold for chiefs and other important persons, and in brass (often erroneously called bronze) for more humble bead-lovers in Africa and abroad.

To make a bead or pendant, the craftsman first makes a model from beeswax, usually forming it from thin wax threads. Besides spherical beads and bicones, popular designs include disks, rectangles, and other geometric shapes, as well as human masks and animal motifs. The beadmaker coats the model with a slurry of fine clay and charcoal and then envelops it in coarser clay. When making small beads, he may encase several models in this thick clay mold. When the mold is heated, the melted wax drains out though openings left for this purpose (sprues), and molten brass is poured into the resulting cavity. After it cools, the mold is broken to free the casting, rough spots are filed down, and the ornament is polished with fine sand and lemon juice or a grinding wheel, if the maker can afford one. Brass beads may be given a gold wash for a more brilliant finish, or polished with black wax for an antique look. Unlike other types of casting, the lost-wax method insures that every bead is a unique original because once the mold is broken open it can’t be reused.


Afghan Tribal Arts is owned by Abdul Wardak who has imported from Afghanistan and the region since the late 1980’s. Abdul has a passion for all things handmade, but beads and rugs form the core part of his business. The gallery and showroom is located at 626 Broadway in downtown Paducah, Kentucky (USA).

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Free shipping worldwide on all purchases from Afghan Tribal Arts over $250.


Abdul Wardak of Afghan Tribal Arts
Abdul Wardak of Afghan Tribal Arts

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Afghan Tribal Arts

I have been importing from Central Asia for over 30 years. Afghan Tribal Arts focuses on hand carved gemstones, beads, tribal jewelry, vintage textiles and nomadic carpets. We have a huge inventory of handmade crafts from around the world. Our gallery is at 626 Broadway in Paducah, Kentucky, USA. Follow us on Facebook! Let us know if you see something you like in the image section of our Facebook page. We can give you more info if it is still in stock. I am often on the road, doing Bead Shows, but have an assistant at the gallery who can help.  My cell is 847-602-6651 if you need to reach me.  

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Shipping Policy

Shipping will be billed separately upon purchase of product. Buyers will be charged the rounded up total of actual shipping cost. Example: If shipping is $8.75, the cost will be $9. We normally use USPS for shipping and you can choose the method you prefer: 1st class (might be cheaper for light and small items), priority mail, flat rates (best once items get heavier than a few ounces), or express. We ship internationally, but insurance is not available to many countries so we are not responsible for lost merchandise. Please inquire before purchasing if you need clarification. Lost merchandise in the US must go through the USPS process of processing a claim, including waiting a month from the shipping date before reporting a lost package. We are located in Paducah, Kentucky, USA and your package will be shipped from here. Free shipping worldwide on purchases over $250. This is for 1st class shipping. If you want priority or any other choice, you can pay the difference.

Refund Policy

We want you to be happy with your purchase. We do the best possible to photograph and describe the items fully. If it is not what you expected, inform us within two days of receiving the package that it will be returned and send it back within five days. We will accept returns for any reason. Once we receive it in the same condition as it was sent, we will issue a refund for the purchase but not the shipping.

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