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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Artisan: Florence Martey, TK Beads

Florence Martey of T K Designer Beads. Florence is one Ghana's leading bead designers who produce high quality hand-made designer beads. It is very unusual to find women running a bead manufacturing business. Her designs draw both on traditional and modern themes and, as with many West African artisans, her use of colour is outstanding. Her beads are greatly sought after in Ghana - she makes them using the powder glass method. Pieces of uncoloured glass are ground to a powder and then coloured and poured into bead moulds in the same way as different coloured sands are poured to make sand pictures. The beads are then baked to fuse them together.
Florence says: "Three years ago in 2005, TK bead industry was moved from Odumasi-Krobo, which is my home-town, to Amrahia on the Accra-Dodowa road near the Christian University College.The reason for this migration is because most of our customers are from Accra and continuously complained of the long distance creating some sort of inconvenience for them.From 2006 to 2007, T.K. beads have been to overseas for Trade-fairs, exhibition as well as lecturing on how Traditional Ghanaian Beads are made. We traveled on two occasions to California and once in New York for Trade shows. T.K. beads was also invited to Tanzania in the year 2007 for six weeks lesson period to teach an N.G.O. about the production of Ghanaian beads, of which they are currently practicing.For the past three years, T.K. Bead Industry has expanded greatly. We started with fifteen workers and now we have twenty-five workers; fifteen males and ten females. We also engage in training interested people in bead-making. A show room is being put up and will be completed very soon.The fact is I never regretted being a bead producer. We still love our work because it is the best and also generates good income which enhances a better living. I am therefore urging workers to be serious with their work especially those in the bead-making industry because it is the best source good living.My husband and I have been married for eleven years and we are blessed with two kids; a boy and a girl who are twelve 12 and eight 8 years respectively. "

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