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The Journey of a Bead – Czech Glass

May 31st, 2011 · 2 Comments


Czech glass beads are beautiful additions to jewelry designs, but not too many people know how a bead comes into being. These beads are still made in the Czech Republic the same way they have been for hundreds of years. Take a journey into the makings of one special bead.


Early Years (250 B.C.) :
A piece of glass originally was created by lampworking. An oil lamp is used to melt glass around a mandrel, a thin metal rod around which a glass bead is shaped. When the mandrel is removed, it forms the hole in the bead. Starting in 900 A.D., these handmade beads were placed in graves.


Middle Years (1500s):
Cottage industries began showing up in Jablonec, Stanovsko and Bedrichov— the present-day Czech Republic. These industries made beads for larger jewelry factories. Beginning in the 1800s, manufacturers developed special molds and machines to produce pressed glass beads. Pressed glass beads are made with hot softened glass being pressed into a hand-operated or mechanized mold. As for fire-polished beads, these are faceted beads that have been re-fired. This produces a bead with the fire and sparkle of crystal, but for a much cheaper price.


Today:
Jablonec nad Nisou, where the earliest industries began, is now the center of the Czech bead industry. Although Czech bead making suffered setbacks during the two World Wars, the Great Depression and Communist rule, the industry has since been revived. Czech bead makers are now among the world leaders in bead manufacturing and exports.
Check out all of our wonderful Czech beads and get inspired to make one-of-a-kind jewelry!

Information from ehow.com. Read more about the history of manufacturing glass beads here.

-Marissa

Tags: Just For Fun!

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rebecca Lee Designs // Jun 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I love your little articles! So cool to learn the history behind the beads I love using. :)

  • 2 Behind the Bead – Czech Fire-Polished Glass // Sep 7, 2011 at 7:02 am

    [...] we’re exploring the history of fire-polished Czech glass beads. We’ve touched on the history of Czech glass beads in the past, which you can read in our previous blog post, but today focuses solely on the brightly [...]

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