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

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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