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Now available: Beads from Germany
January 29, 2016

In the last two years, I have worked on my latest book: Beads from Germany. With support from the Bead Society of Los Angeles. I visited three German 'bead towns'. I explore the history of these three beadmaking centers. Idar-Oberstein, the center for stone beads, Lauscha, well known for it's glassblowers, and Neugablonz, a new town with a fascinating history.

Coverpage Beads from Germany by Floor Kaspers (2016)

I call these places ‘bead towns’, even though in all three places much more was produced than just beads. My focus is on the production of beads, as my aim is to dig deeper into the bead the history of beads in Europe. Each of these are places where you can feel and see the bead history straight away. Window displays, names on houses, glass waste on the ground, and a tourist information point filled with information about glass, jewelry and beads. Most people who live here are in a business that has to do with beads directly or is related to beads. The identity of these places are strongly connected to the trade in beads, jewelry and glass. They also show the variety of beads made in Europe. From glass pearls for Parisian women to agate pendants for Mauretanian ladies. From glass marble beads worn by village chiefs in West Africa, to affordable jewelry imitating fancy gemstones.

The main question in my research for this book has been: 'How does a town become a 'bead town'? How does one place become so focused on one product? What does it mean to be at the center of the development of a single product? And what happens, when the demand for this product slows down?’

Sample card blown beads, Museum Lauscha

The book is available for a free download.
You can download a PDF version here
Beads from Germany PDF (37MB)
You can download an Ebook version here
Beads from Germany Epub (37MB)

If you like a printed copy, you can order it here
Blurb Beads from Germany

Mixed trade beads strand with Idar-Oberstein beads

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