Glass Beads I Love: Never Understimate the Power Of The Druk

Apr 1, 2013

I recently rekindled my love of the glass druk when I started designing my Hoarder of Beauty necklace using a handful of Czech glass gumdrop beads. As I was designing the individual components that went into the finished design, someone suggested that I use bicones. I knew I didn't have enough bicones of the right color in my stash, but I did have a brand-new hank of round Czech glass beads -- also known as druks.

Now, I've been going on all this time thinking that a druk is just a round glass bead. I asked my friend Perry Bookstein at York Beads what he knew about druks, and the first thing he asked me was if I considered round glass beads to be druks, or if I thought of other glass beads as druks, as well.

What, Exactly, IS a Druk?

What do all of these glass beads have in common? They can all be classified as druks!
Well, Perry's question just stumped me. I'd never seen any other glass beads except the round ones referred to as druks. Were there other shapes of glass beads that could be classified as druks?

The question got both of us investigating. While Perry checked with his contacts in Europe as well as in the United States, I did some online searches to see what came up when I searched for druks.

To my great surprise, I found several European glass bead companies that referred to "shaped" glass druks on their websites! 

A little more digging from Perry revealed that the word "druk" is an adaptation of the German word meaning "pressure" or "pressed". Since these glass beads are formed by pressing glass into a mold, they can all correctly be classified as druks! The things you learn when you ask a simple question, right?

Why Use Druks?

I used glass druks to help me work out a tricky spacing issue when designing this little beaded snowflake motif.
Semantics aside, I find that using the round glass druks in my bead-weaving designs is a great way to add some dimension and shape to my pieces, for not a whole lot of cost. Round glass beads like druks come in a huge array of colors and finishes, and you can find them in almost any size you need, ranging from the tiny 3mm druks all the way up to 10mm and larger.

Druks can be found with a matte finish, a rainbow (aurora borealis) finish, two-toned, or even with a peacock pattern applied to them!

Because glass beads like druks cost significantly less than their crystal bead and gemstone counterparts, it's easy to stock up on a range of colors and sizes for use in your beaded jewelry creations. Their smooth, round shape makes them perfect for elegant, organic beaded jewelry design ideas. And because they're so "plain", they stand up well to lots of embellishments.

Try something new with your druks: pair them with your favorite two-holed seed beads like Twins or Super Duos, or use them to make a base of right-angle weave that you can embellish and layer with seed beads. Really, when you let your imagination play with glass beads like round druks, the sky is the limit!

Get Creative With Your Glass Beads and Enter Bead Star!

Have you come up with a creative and innovative design using glass beads? Then enter it in the Bead Star 2013 competition! There just happens to be a category for glass beads, too, so if you're ready to show the world what you can do with your druks (and your other glass beads), head on over to the Bead Star site and find out how to enter. Don't forget -- new for 2013, you can beading projects made with seed beads in any category! Check out the Bead Star competition, and who knows? You might be our next Bead Star and win an all-expense paid trip to Bead Fest Philadelphia!

Bead Happy,

Jenifer

P.S. Want some great sources for stocking up on glass beads like druks? Check out York Beads and Bead Stalkers for the latest and greatest in glass beads coming from Europe!


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Comments

shelder wrote
on Apr 1, 2013 7:10 AM

I love this information!  I did not know why they were call druks either.

on Apr 1, 2013 8:13 AM

What a great post, Jen! Thanks for doing the research and sharing this info. I love it when I learn something new from Beading Daily!

on Apr 1, 2013 8:30 AM

I recently purchased three different colors of Czech glass druks and within less than 24 hours had skin irritation and color rub off. I had to take my project (bracelet) off. I soaked the bracelet in water and found the color continued to come off, turning the beads completely white. I would warn others to test these beads themselves before adding them to an elegant project which could potentially be ruined by using such beads. I have sent an e-mail to the Beader's Paradise customer service and I am awaiting a response from them. Warning: you may be getting what you pay for, cheap beads that equal cheap quality.

Shelley Scribner

Ralonda wrote
on Apr 1, 2013 8:51 AM

Wow, what a great article--who woulda thunk it?

To Shelley: It sounds like your source is not a reliable one for quality  beads. All the druks I have ordered from various suppliers are made with colored glass- not a dye on top of white. They do have special coatings like the AB or peacock but they usually hold up pretty well too. It is such a bummer when I hear of a beader getting less than quality product. Druks are pretty inexpensive in comparison  but if the price seems too good to be true then it probably is. Wholesale costs can put some druks as low as .01 a piece (depending on quantities ordered and bulk discounts).

Thanks for such an enlightening post Jennifer!

debbie@510 wrote
on Apr 1, 2013 9:20 AM

I really love druk beads - they are really pretty and very versatile. I wondered as I was reading your article on them and saw your beautiful necklace, hoarder of beauty, if you had a pattern for it yet. If so, where could I get it from? Please advise, as it's the style I'm into right now, and I was about to put in an order for some more druks, and I'd like to get the ones for your necklace. Thanks very much.

Debbie B.

CarolC@109 wrote
on Apr 1, 2013 11:37 AM

Here is the next question:  How do you pronounce Druk.....Drook? Druhk?

Carol Cady

padali30 wrote
on Apr 1, 2013 4:02 PM

Thanks for setting me straight! I always refer to the round czech glass beads as druks. Now I know. Cool!

padali30 wrote
on Apr 1, 2013 4:04 PM

I would agree with Rolanda, sounds like what Shelley purchased were not druk beads but a dyed bead. I've never had a round czech druk bead bleed color.

MaryW wrote
on Apr 1, 2013 6:20 PM

Would you share the snowflake design? It's lovely.

IRENE CASEY wrote
on Apr 6, 2013 9:06 AM

Excellent article regarding DRUK (how do you pronounce?) and from comments I hear both sides pro and con.  I have not bought one bead yet but I am considering to  once I have some patterns to start with.   Hope to hear from you folks soon and thank you Jennifer for this information.  I am forever learning new things!   3 L's (Love,Life and Laughter)

janeteva wrote
on Apr 6, 2013 10:45 AM

Any chance I could get some instructions for that cute snowflake you made using druks?  I'd love to try making one!  I was also surprised that all druks are not round!!

Mary AlineJ wrote
on Apr 8, 2013 12:05 PM

You keep showing us the twin/duo snowflake ... where's the pattern?