History of the Craft
Glass beads were originally blown for bijouterie. A glass tube was warmed above a burner; air was blown inside by mouth creating a bead. This way it went on and on, and a deft blower could blow 200 to 300 dozens of beads “out of hand” every day.
In 1876 a blowing machine with a form was invented in the village of Josefův Důl. At the beginning up to 2-8 beads could be blown into the form at once, and as the burners improved the form was later extended for up to 36 beads. The beads were no longer blown by mouth but using bellows.
The invention of form and machine made the work a lot faster and the beads were all of the same size, which made their further processing easier. A row of beads called “klauče” still has to be silvered, coloured or painted and cut into individual beads.
Currently, the production does not differ from the original one much – blowing machines and forms are still used. Instead of kerosene or petrol gas burners are used. Instead of bellows compressors are used. Like before blowing beads depends on dexterity and experience of the blower rather than on a perfect technology.