Friday, November 19, 2010

Czech Seed Beads Interpreted

Czech seed beads come in six loop hanks

The nomenclature "seed beads" came from the ancient practice of putting holes in seeds and stringing to create jewelry.  Today, "seed beads" connotes and encompasses a wide range of shapes and sizes of small glass beads beginning with antique beads anywhere from the smallest size of 24 all the way to size 2. These sizes are considered "aught" whereby the higher the number the smaller the bead.  However, the most utilized sizes are size 15, 11 and 8.  The size 11 is the most popular size employed today globally. These beads were crafted by very capable artisans who would take a huge glob of molten glass, then a punty would be applied on one side and two men would proceed to pull the glass.  This was no easy feat especially when micro beads were being made. 

Today certain types of machinery are employed but the hand making process still plays an important role.  Many avid collectors have stashes of beads that are no longer made and have lusters, finishes and colors that will not be found again.  We are constantly on the lookout for older vintage or antique beads.  Vintage is usually seed beads manufactured twenty five years ago or more.  So, if you have some old beads tucked away in a box you can incorporate them in special one off pieces. 

At LB o J'zazz there is an ample selection of Czech Seed Beads in size 11, 8 and the special 1-Cut Charlottes in Size 13.  We will also be introducing new colors and palettes soon.  You will recognize them as they are packaged and displayed in six loop hanks.  The total weights of each color vary due to the special finishes, dyes and lusters that are used. 
Bead embroidered piece by Lubna using Czech seed beads

LB o J'zazz artisans Bettina and Lubna extensively use Czech seed beads for their huge variety, limited colors and crafty feel.  They work particularly well in bead embroidery and off loom weaving such as spiral stitch amongst many others.  So pass by LB o J'zazz and explore all things Czech. 

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