The meaning of crystal vs. glass changes according to the country. In the Czech Republic the term “crystal” is used for any exquisite high-quality glass.
Czech glass, also known as Bohemian crystal, is produced in the regions of Bohemia and Silesia, now parts of the Czech Republic. We had heard of Czech glass beads, so traveled to see the region and production. Nirvana Beads is located in Jablonec, a mountain resort in the Jizera mountains which was founded in the 14th century.
About every two months a metric ton (or so) of Nirvana’s specialty beads arrive from the Czech Republic. Even though owners Nir Kronenberg and Cynthia Shanti Moralez have the basic process down to a science, it is a big business to run from a small frame house in historic Hudson, New York.
As the number of artisans in Jablonec continues to shrink, we are grateful to be one of the customers of Nirvana Beads and to bring these beauties to Whidbey Island.