I really picked out quite a nice haul during last week's trip to York Beads in Manhattan, and I'm so excited to share this first part of my new glass bead stash with you!
I've loved Czech glass beads since way before I started bead-weaving with them. When I was just a stringer, I loaded up on the gorgeous colors and shapes of Czech glass beads that could be found at my local bead shop. These days, I still buy loads of Czech glass beads, but now I use them in my bead-weaving projects!
You've probably seen these Czech spike beads popping up in bead shops and at bead shows. Looking like the pointed horns of the mythical unicorn, these beads fit right in with edgy fashion trends like steampunk. According to York Beads owner Perry Bookstein, these glass beads can be considered handmade. Instead of being pressed by machine, these beads are pressed by hand and then must be manually removed from the mold with which they were created. They are very lightweight, come in three sizes, and are available in a huge range of colors and finishes.
The Czech spike beads have a flat top so they can be used in bezeling and bead embroidery projects. The hole runs across the wide end of the bead so that the points hang down, like a pendulum.
I bought my first batch of Czech spike beads from Beyond Beadery at the Tucson shows in February. A few months later, I added six more colors to my stash from The Hole Bead Shop. And then finally, I bought four new colors and finishes from York Beads. The unique shape of these Czech glass spike beads makes them perfect for your steampunk beading projects or stringing projects.
My other favorite find from York Beads was a hank of these luminous Czech glass button beads, or as I call them, mushroom beads. (But of course, I'm very food-oriented, even with my beads!)
These luminous little beads come in a beautiful array of colors, and have round, wide tops with a narrow glass shank. When strung, they fit together to create a "bubbly" look, or you can use them individually as drops or even closures on your favorite beaded necklaces and bracelets.
Czech spike beads are available from many online bead suppliers, or from York Beads. You can find the mushroom or button beads at York Beads.