Although manufacturing technologies are constantly improving, the true art of glass making is still reliant on the knowledge and skills of the glassmaker's themselves. Many fascinating colors have been discontinued over the years because their recipes have been lost; mostly due to talented people leaving the industry, or sadly even death. Relatives still living in the glass making regions of Bohemia often tell avid vintage bead collectors of their families history in the area, including how war and communism effected the production, variety, and availability of some beads.
The Czech glass industry has a rich history that spans multiple generations. The quality and variety produced throughout the years continues to be unmatched by any other country.
There are multiple bead manufacturers throughout Bohemia ranging from small, independent cottage workers, to large, full service factories. Regardless of size, each company complies with the industry standard numbering system, which categorizes the shape, size, glass cane color, and finish of each and every bead produced. This helps the companies work together in a seamless manner.
No matter how organized and technologically advanced the industry gets, there are always small changes that are beyond anyone's control. If you've noticed copper lined beads, for example, have become extremely difficult to come by these days. Why? because the one manufacturer that supplied the coating to the the rest of the factories was suddenly unable to reproduce the same quality as before. In this blog I will occasionally note some of the changes we've come across that are simply unavoidable. Sometimes the changes could be temporary; the glass factory makes such large batches that it may take six months before they need to produce more. Sure, it can be frustrating at times, but there is always a chance that the latest batch will turn out even better than before. In any case, the odd colored beads make for a great addition to any bead collector's stash!
Below is a picture of one of the latest changes to our catalog. "Strawberries and Creme" is now being described as "Peaches and Creme". We never know how a bead batch turns out until it shows up on our doorstep. The strawberry version is a relatively recent addition to our catalog and we've carried it in many styles. As new batches have been arriving over the past six months or so, we've had to rename and re-photograph the new beads for accuracy. When will it change back? Nobody knows. If you like one or the other better, make sure you get as much as you can while you can!