Dakota Blog | Notes on the MATTE Process
Matte beads are pretty common in the bead world right now, and with good reason. They look great with basically any material and add a special little something to any design style. They've also transformed the way we see options for designing men's jewelry. Instead of sticking to sometimes drab stone colors, everyone is loving the subtle but intense hues that can come from matte finishes.
It is often assumed that matte stones go through less treatment than polished stones. While this is true of rough nuggets and other beads that retain the shape and texture of the rough from which they're cut, the opposite is true matte beads. The process to matte finish a bead is somewhat counter-intuitive, as it requires more steps than the traditional polished stone.
It takes a certain kind of lapidary skill to understand the requirements to create matte finishes. The matte bead actually begins as a polished bead - it's cut, drilled and polished. Then, it goes back into the tumbler with a fine grit powder, water, additional tiny stones and tumbled to various degrees of a matte finish. Each stone type requires a different amount of time in the tumbler, depending on the material's hardness and characteristics. Harder materials take longer (as long as two hours), and may require multiple tumbles with different compounds to get the finish just right.
- Take Care & Happy Beading!