Czech glass beads are certainly one of the most beautiful and sought after styles of beads, as they feature unique styles, patterns, and hues simply not found in any other types of beads. The history of Czech glass beads is actually as rich as the beauty of the beads themselves. Find out more about the captivating history of Czech glass beads here:
Glass beads were being crafted in Bohemia, which is the present day Czech republic, as early as 250 B.C. By the 900’s (A.D.) handcrafted glass beads were being put inside of some tombs. And, in the 1200’s, several glass factories, that were sometimes used to make beads for rosaries, were opened as locals began moving into the northern mountains of the area.
The fall season is just around the corner and we can expect cooler weather and shorter days. The lush green leaves on trees will begin to shift into shades of yellow, orange, and red shades. Gardens hues will change into fall flowers that thrive in cooler temperatures like the orange chrysanthemums and purple pansies. Worldwide color authority Pantone® recently released its choices for the fall color trend report.
The new fall Pantone colors are Russet Orange, Crocus Petal, Valiant Poppy, Ultra Violet, Ceylon Yellow, Martini Olive, Quetzal Green, Nebulas Blue, Limelight, and Red Pear. Check out these new fabulous top color picks for this next season.
Jewelry is an expression of your personality. Big and bold, calm and quiet, sophisticated, urbanite, country girl... Which of these describe your unique personality? If you're shopping at a store or local craft fair you can probably find a piece of jewelry that sort of gets you and your uniqueness. But if you want jewelry that really showcases your personality, a piece of custom handcrafted jewelry is a unique and totally original way to do just that.
If you have a sophisticated yet bold personality, a large piece of jewelry featuring Alexandrite may be the way to go. This rare gemstone changes its colors depending on the lighting.
In an outcry against the monotony of mass production, the trend toward buying local, small batch and handmade is heating up. Handmade jewelry is no exception. Not only is a handmade necklace or bracelet a one of a kind piece that highlights your individual style, but the quality of the item is bound to be superb to those produced by the thousands in obscure and possibly questionable factories abroad.
But buyer beware, all handmade jewelry is not created equal. Below, you’ll find the SWCreations guide to buying beautiful handmade jewelry that is also of highest quality.
1. We’ve all experienced that terrible moment when a piece of jewelry breaks, leaving you down on your knees searching for beads scattered across the floor. This unfortunate scenario may be avoided if the jewelry you choose is made with strong wire. As you can see, the wire used to string beads on your jewelry is very important. SWCreations uses only 49 strand beading wire because it is the best and has exceptional durability and strength. There are seven types of strands and the others are simply not as strong–avoid them if you can.
2. Stretch jewelry is easy-to-wear, is easy to give as a gift and is a fun addition to anyone’s wardrobe. Trouble is, it can break easily or become too loose if the stretch cord is thin or of poor quality. At SWCreations, we do not string beads on anything less than a 1.0 mm cord, because it is the strongest and we have found it lasts the longest. We have tried and tested all the variations from stretch cord to stretch fiber and found they just do not stand up to our quality expectations. Unfortunately, this means we are not using our stretch cord for our smaller beads, such as; small Swarvoski crystals, freshwater pearls, and other beads with small holes. We have tried and tested all the variations from stretch cord to stretch fiber and found they just do not stand up to our quality expectations.
3. You may have never heard of a jump ring, but you probably have a few in your jewelry collection already. This small piece of metal is the circle that a clasp holds on to–on a necklace or bracelet for example–and if it stretches to wide, the clasp will fall out. Many years ago, jewelry suppliers create a split ring (like a miniature keychain), but every time that ring was caught on a thread it would pull apart. Unfortunately, in an inexpensive piece of jewelry, the jump ring is often the first to break. Fortunately, there are a few jump ring brands that can stand up to the test of time, and SWCreations uses only those. Our jump rings may not be the cheapest, but they are the strongest, ensuring that your jewelry will last for years to come.
4. The quality of the beads can often give away whether a handmade piece of jewelry is of high or low caliber. Some inexpensive beads are made with an outside coating that will wear off quickly as you wear the item–causing it to chip off if it rubs against other jewelry you have layered or onto your clothing. Some cheap beads even have a coating that is water soluble, meaning if you’re caught in one downpour, your piece is ruined. New beads enter the market every day and we usually create a piece to test out, some are obvious duds, but if you buy a piece from us and the bead looks nothing like when you purchased it, please let us know right away. Avoid this situation entirely by choosing beads that are made from authentic gemstones, crystals and glass such as those we utilize at SWCreations.
You might feel that the history of handcrafted beaded jewelry cannot possibly be very interesting, but in fact, it is quite intriguing to learn where this part of culture began. Some say that the beginnings of beaded jewelry began more than 70,000 years ago when man found the beads and gems and thought it was incredibly beautiful. Beaded jewelry has been used in many ways. One way is simply for beauty. Another is for value. Some would trade and buy with beaded jewelry or beads. And some cultures even used them as talisman. So how was beaded jewelry initially created? Let’s take a look.
Although a man or a woman living in those times would not possibly have any practical use for them; however, they could not carry them around without modern day bags or carrying devices, nor did they have pockets. So, as legend tells us, they attached the gemstones or beads to leather straps and wore them around their neck to create the first handcrafted beaded jewelry. Over time, handcrafted beaded jewelry started to become a status symbol. Those with power and wealth were the ones who had beaded jewelry. Beads even have been used as an item of value for which trade could be made.
Handcrafted beaded jewelry has been made out of many types of beads. Beads have been known to be made out of glass, bone, porcelain, shells, paper, clay, metals, gemstones, ivory, and even wood. Bead craftsman often held the trade secrets in confidence. They were expected to keep the bead-making skills a secret. Some of them even risked themselves if they failed to keep the information to themselves. Mass production of beads didn’t even begin until the 1800s when glass beading became widely available. It was at this time that Swarovski created their process for making their special beads which are still in high demand today. Even today, the secrets of how their beads are made are kept secret.
Different parts of the world created different types of handcrafted beaded jewelry. Central and South America are known for their wampum and quill creations, while Native American beadwork usually included a lot of turquoise and silver. Bead making in France began as early as 38,000 BC! Worry beads, Filigree, and highly decorated ceramic beads originated in Greece, while Italy specialized in the Murano glass beads. There are dozens of other countries not yet discussed here, but beaded jewelry has a rich and vast history that is incredibly interesting. Suffice it to say that there is a rich cultural tradition with wearing beaded jewelry.