The Many Faces of Czech Glass!

The Many Faces of Czech Glass!

Published On: 11-16-2011 03:12am

Comments: 8 - Hits: 0

Category: History of . . .

Czech glass is so much fun to use due to the large choice of shapes and sizes and colors and finishes.  I enjoy using Czech glass mainly for earrings, but many people use the glass for necklaces, bracelets and other projects.  Czech glass has a long history which I find extremely fascinating.  I thought I would share what was found with you:


Czech glass flowers are popular and come in many, many colors.  These bell flowers have an aurora borealis finish and can be found in the studio of susan of solivio 

The countries that now make up the Czech Republic (present day Moravia and Bohemia) possess a long a tradition of glass beadmaking.  Three things came together in this area to help make glassmaking an important piece of history: (1) silica in Bohemia’s mountains; (2) numerous streams to provide water power; and, (3) abundant forests to provide wood that was necessary for glassmaking fires.  The oldest discovery of glass beads within the Czech Republic dates from the early Bronze Age (app. 8th century BCE).  Celts lived in the area and were very adept at glassmaking and enamelwork.  Archeological remains confirm that glass beads were very popular in those times.


Faceted tangerine and yellow Czech glass ovals with two colors of Swarovski crystals makes this a very sparkly bracelet by Catherine of ShadowDogDesigns

Czech glass/beadmakers were mostly decentralized cottage crafters making beads for use in larger factories before the 19th century. However, when a period of industrial revolution took place in the 1800’s, new machines were developed that could produce a vast variety of beads.  This process was one of pressing molten glass into a heated mold. Thousands of identical beads could be created quickly and rather inexpensively.


Picasso finish Czech glass seashell, pink coral and unakite earrings by Mary of PrettyGonzo


To expand their markets worldwide, Czech "sample men" traveled from country to country asking people what kind of beads they wanted.  When they returned to Bohemia with sketches and descriptions, new beads would be designed.  It was a huge success!  Bead demand grew and production increased.


Multi colored Picasso finish Czech glasslass and leather wrap bracelet by Zara of GemonaWire

Glassmaking stumbled during the two World Wars and the rise of Communism.  But since the fall of the Berlin Wall, glass/beadmaking once again became very important to the regions of Bohemia and Moravia in the Czech Republic.  New techniques are constantly being invented as I notice every time I walk into a bead store!

Here are some more choices of jewely made with fabulous Czech glass:


Turquoise Czech glass beads complement this Egyptian inspired bead woven necklace by Mortira of TheSagesCupboard 


Picasso finish Czech glass hearts with engraved flowers and Swarovski crystals were used in these earrings by Catherine of ShadowDogDesigns 


Glowing Picasso finish Czech glass ebads, silver ebad caps and blackstone earrings by Regine of Karmelidesigns 


Blue Czech glass bell flowers and Swarovski crystal earrings by Elaine of LittleApples   


Picasso finish Czech glass spiral shells and carnelain earirngs by Mary of PrettyGonzo 


Copper peacock tail components and Picaso finish Czech glass coins by Catherine of ShadowDogDesigns 

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about the history of Czech glass.   If you would like, please leave a comment and make my day (:   Thank youf for visiting my blog.

ArtFire Studio:

Reader's Comments

By Guest on 11/08/2015 @ 10:05pm

And thank you for the beautiful images! Soaking in the new mno she and inspiration!

By Guest on 06/16/2013 @ 05:52pm

What a great post! I've been looking for concise info about the history of Czech glass beads, and this was extremely helpful! I'm glad you included the part about how the natural resources around the area naturally made bead production successful in the Czech/ Bohemia region. May I ask about your sources? I ask because I can't find anything more about the history online, so wondering if you could help me with a link or something! Thanks. -Molly

By ShadowDogDesigns on 03/07/2013 @ 02:08pm

You are so welcome, Zara! I agree with you that Czech glass is such a wonderful medium to use - so many colors (as your bracelet shows), shapes and finishes. And such a fabulous history. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment. Peace and joy . . . Catherine

By ShadowDogDesigns on 03/07/2013 @ 02:06pm

Thank you, Mary It is nice to see this blog updated again. So many pretties to be shared (: Peace and joy . . . Catherine

By GemOnAWire on 03/07/2013 @ 12:28pm

Great article Catherine. I love Czech glass and use it often in my wrap bracelets. All of the jewelry shown here are gorgeous examples of what you can create with this wonderful medium. Thank you so much for including my wrap bracelet!! As you can see from my avatar photo I really do use Czech glass alot. Thanks again, Zara

By PrettyGonzo on 03/07/2013 @ 01:18am

Awesome, Catherine! Thanks for the update of this excellent article - and for including my Czech glass shell earrings with all these beauties. :) Gonzo sends a nice ear-scritchin' to Seamus! Off to tweet ...

By ShadowDogDesigns on 11/19/2011 @ 03:35am

Thank you so much, Gloria. It was a fun article to research and write. Peace and joy to you. . . Catherine

By Guest on 11/17/2011 @ 12:46am

Beautifully written! Gloria

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