Beads Using Vacuum Technology - 2010
A new Czech bead that hit the US market in 2009 was the "peacock"
Although originally made in the 1960's by German beadmakers
in NeuGablonz, Germany, using vacuum technology which created
a oil slick coating over a pressed glass bead, the new Czech
peacock bead is quite different.
The German beads have a reputation of rubbing off with some
use or contact to the skin of certain people. We can confirm
In contrast, the Czech beads do not. We have tested them extensively
by the scientific method of wearing them, carrying them around
in a pocket full of loose change, washing them with dirty dishes
in the kitchen sink (okay, that was an accident), and generally
abusing them beyond reasonable use. And they survived.
The German beads only came in
round dots with the peacock colors inside the dots (picture on
The Czech makers invented a stencil
to cover the beads that are laid on the bottom of the coating
machine and come in many different shapes such as dots, stripes,
flowers, stars, triangles, squiggles, etc
you get the picture
(picture on right).
Although this is not the beadmakers fault but the importers
fault who place the orders, the German beads only came in round
and oval. Having said that, we did stumble across some vintage
Swarovski beads that were heart shaped with the peacock dots
dating from the 1960's. We only know of three importers who carried
a line of German peacock beads during the late 1990's and into
the 2000's; John F. Allen, Eclectica and ourselves (Wild Things
Beads). What we did find was that prior to us ordering the round
and oval beads we were offered round and oval cabachons which
the factory altered by making a bead mold for us. That same factory
then offered that mold shape to everyone else.
The Czech beads come in an unlimited range of shapes.
The German beads are expensive, whereas the Czech beads are
not as expensive, but lets face it - they are not cheap. The
reasons for that are several; labor costs in Germany are higher,
the Czechs are still on the Czech crown, (the crown is 20 to
$1USD), whereas the Germans are on the Euro (the USD is $1.32
to the E), which will change in 2013 when the Czech Republic
crown officially converts over to the Euro. (Then we will have
to see if Czech beads are still affordable).
most Czech beads, the peacock beads are made in small cottage
industry factories. The factory where we buy our beads is a two
man operation in a rented building in Zelezny Brod.
The owner was a Jablonex manager who lost his job and went
out on his own. He built his first machine by hand and within
one year bought his second machine.
His service is the peacock coating.
Beadmakers bring him the beads and he coats them, using different
chemicals. He starts off laying the beads on the bottom of the
stencilled tray inside the coating machine. He pours the desired
chemical into a tray above the beads and closes the lid to the
machine. He turns the machine on and runs it for 20 -40 minutes,
then opens it up, flips the beads over (if it calls for a two
sided coating) and repeats the procedure. The stencil will create
the desired pattern on the bead. Once the coating is applied,
the bead is finished, and ready for sale.
There are two factories we know of who do the peacock coating
in the shapes and patterns shown here, and certainly there must
Stay posted for when we find the next new bead.
Guy and J-Me are the owners of Wild Things Beads, a small
family run American import house located in Northern California
deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and can be contacted at
(530) 743 1339 or on the web at wildthingsbeads.com.
They import glass beads and buttons from Czech Republic, as well
as lead tours to bead regions around the world in an effort to
promote bead knowledge, history and commerce.