I start with the beads that come from Bohemia, of course! This European region, now called the Czech Republic, is famous for colorful, richly textured glass beads in such vintage hues as coral pinks, cerulean blue, and jadeite green. Old Czech glass beads(and German glass too) are some of my favorite beads ever! I am a hoarder, an obsessive seeker, of these colorful little glass creatures and I am charmed beyond measure when I find a new bead that I know can only have been made in the past, when time was more plentiful than now, and fine craftsmanship was deeply valued. Beginning in the 1560’s, a glass industry developed in the lush, green riverside villages of Jablonec and Nisou, near Prague. Hulking glass furnaces fueled by nearby forest timber and a plentiful supply of quartz deposit with which to create molten glass and press into molds allowed this region to enter the already thriving glass bead trade industry, centuries old, between Italy and Africa. The factory molds were used to create innumerable fantastical shapes including flowers, faces, feathers, animals and insects. Vintage beads are by definition rare, and I like beads that play hard to get. Of course you CAN get them and the hunt is part of the fun. More on this later. For a start, visit my favorite local bead store, Dava Bead and Trade and ask them to lead you to Bohemia!