Czech Glass Beads

Written by Sarah Provost
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Glass beads from the Czech Republic often form the basis of a beader's collection. That's because they come in a stupendous array of shapes, sizes, colors and designs, and offer high quality for a reasonable price. Some of the most popular categories are pressed glass, druk, and fire polished.

Pressed Glass Czech Beads

Pressed glass beads, sometimes called button beads, are made in molds that leave decorative images on the surface. They can be transparent, opaque, or have an iridescent finish called Aurora Borealis (AB). Pressed glass is also often made in the shapes of flowers, stars, or animals and is available in a full spectrum of colors.

Druk beads are round, faceted glass beads. These are endlessly versatile. They vary in size from three to 12 mm, can be found in polished, satin or luster finishes, and can be transparent, opaque or AB. Again, the color choices are numerous, and two-tone beads are also available.

The Czech Republic is also noted for faceted, fire-polished beads, available in rounds and rondelles. Cathedral beads are barrel-shaped, pressed glass beads with faceted sides and intricate, metallic detailing on the top and bottom. Such combinations as cobalt blue and silver or clear beads with gold trim are truly stunning.

Czech bead artists also produce luster flower beads. These are handmade lamp worked beads, each of which has a tiny rose embedded in it. The roses are made by dripping molten glass onto the bead before adding the final transparent coat. These beads come in round, oval and teardrop shapes, and are usually used as the focal point of a piece.

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