Monday, January 17, 2011

Bead Spotlight: Czech Fire Polish

Assorted Czech Fire Polish Beads

When it comes to choosing the best beads for the job, longevity is definitely a factor. Glass beads have been made in the Czech Republic since the 17th century, and the technique is pretty well perfected by now. Although there are many unique colors and shapes to choose from, the style that really stands out is the fire polish bead.

These little beauties are faceted and heat polished for a remarkable shine and shimmer. They have the look of expensive crystal beads, but are much more affordable, even though each batch is still made by hand. And, like any great bead, the color selection is to die for!

Assorted Fire Polish Beads

Most projects that call for fire polish beads refer to the round style, which can usually be found at most well stocked bead shops and suppliers. There are also barrels, bicones, cubes, drops, ovals, and even cathedral beads, with a unique boxy shape.

Fire polish beads are a little more forgiving on threads, so they are perfect for bead weaving techniques where larger beads can be incorporated. They look great in between rows of St. Petersburg chain, as accents in cascades and multi-strand designs, and can even be worked into spiral ropes.

If you have a few fire polish beads in your stash that you’d like to use up, here are some fun projects to try:

Embellished Right Angle Weave Bracelet, from the Auntie's Beads video library
Green with Envy Multistrand Necklace, from Fire Mountain Gems
Chinese New Year Earrings, from Ben Franklin Crafts

Happy beading!

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3 comments:

  1. I LOVE firepolished beads! I can't get my hands on enough of them!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for writing this article. I have been using fire polish and Czech beads for many years now. I have always been attracted to their facets and luster. They come in some many shapes and sizes now and make it so easy to design with. I especially love using Charlottes in my bead weaving projects.They add a bit of shimmer and dimension to the design.

    I love your blog. Very informative and easy to read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My favorite thing about fire polish is how many you can get for a modest price.

    I'm the type of beader that isn't quite satisfied with a quantity of beads unless I can dip my hand in it.

    Not that I have a lot of bucketfuls hanging around, but I find bigger lots much more inspiring. Tiny bead portions seem to encourage hoarding.

    ReplyDelete

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