Monday, February 20, 2012

Spike it!

Football season is over. My Giants won!-- I realized in Tucson, not such big news in the Bead n Design world, though we appreciated the support at the Cantina. Well time to mention our new Czech beading shape --"The Spike". Like in sports, there is always a little controversy when something new arrives. Did we invent the spike? Were we the first? Like in sports, seems so trivial to give credit to just one person or moment. It is always a team effort, intentionally or not.

I first saw a spike bead, in Laura McCabe's beadwork.: . My first reaction to her work, was like many, admiring her individuality. What seems so simple is really complex. She just adds so many textures that you lose track of the components being used. Showed a picture of Laura's work to my Czech friend, Jaromir Masek, and asked: Could you create a pressed shape like this? Frankly he said,"No" , the glass would break too easily with the off center hole at the base. Jaromir, also does not like the word: "No".

Time passed, the bead economy was struggling along on both sides of the atlantic. I had a conversation with a another amazing bead artist, Maggie Roschyk. Maggie is an author, designer and just has a restless spirit. She also loves Czech beads. She happened to mention "The Spike", and said it could be used in "so many ways". I mentioned i explored the idea, but there were technical difficulties. Forget that she said, with "Basketball Wives", Laura's work and the trend in fashion toward "street" wear, would it be skulls or steampunk like stuff, people want this: Get it!

Well, we got a Czech Glass or Bohemian glass spike bead, 7mm at the base and 17mm long, with other sizes (5x8mm and 12x18mm) in the works. Mr Masek says that these can be considered handmade. They are not pressed like round beads in a very automated fashion. They are hand pressed, and the base bead shape has to be extracted manually from the mold. They are different than Laura's spikes which are "stone points" or cabochons. They have a hole at the base and are lighter which adds to their versatility. Maggie's "fiery" Unicorn ring is ready for unveiling and will be taught at our NYC location March 23rd. I cannot wait to see what Laura comes up with next, spike or no spike.

Its a great time to be a consumer in the bead business or beading marketplace. The many brands of seed beads and crystals and other stuff just put choice at the forefront. Creating from a palette of materials so great must be inspiring to the artist. Even with a more obscure product like a spike, the more materials, sizes and colors is only gonna expand the applications. I am sure Steve Jobs and Bill Gates went through something like this, and there was no personal computers in Prehistoric days, but we know cavemen did play with spikes :-)