Objects made from production waste of glass beads

Czech designer Sára Matysová used the waste material of the production of Preciosa’s glass beads.

Czech glass and bead manufacturer Preciosa uses glass sand from the region Bohemian Paradise (Český ráj), mined in the village of Střeleč. While sand may seem like an abundant resource, sand suitable for industrial purposes like in the production of concrete and glass is becoming increasingly scarce. Sand excavation leads to environmental problems like soil erosion and groundwater shortage, and local inhabitants of Střeleč are concerned with the mining processes in the area and their negative effects on the landscape, air, and water.

With her Elemental collection, Matysová designed a mirror and cylindrical objects made from waste material from glass beads. Preciosa produces about 10 tonnes of waste each year, which does not have an alternate use and is not recycled.

The mirror has a stand made of raw sandstone, and is decorated on the back with glass beads.

“I work with mirrors as fragile objects representing human civilisation, which I perceive as easily vulnerable,” Matysová states. “With the mirror reflection I attempt to reflect on issues related to an excessive excavation of sand and superfluous waste material in the glass sector in general.”

For the cylindrical objects, Matysová used solely glass beads to explore the possibilities of the material under different temperatures. As the melting process is an energy intensive procedure, the designer used the lowest temperature possible, which is 610 degrees Celsius, so the beads kept most of their original structure. The objects are made in various sizes and aim to show an alternative use for the glass waste material.

Photos: Sára Matysová