Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Muted Metallic Collections

Meet the latest coating we've added to our Czechbead family - Matte Metallic Goldenrod! This is the first of four new metallic finishes that are trickling onto our warehouse shelves. We first introduced this type of coating on our hybrids (item number TR-11-Y601) and have expanded the concept to include fire polished and pressed beads. I did some durability testing and the finish will hold up well under regular use (i.e. don't rinse them in acid or drag them over a concrete floor). Try out our five new styles and keep an eye out for new colors coming soon!

Also check out this week's new additions in HurriCane Glass as well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hybrids in Action

Here are few great examples of how well our new Toho SuperNova Hybrids match up to our Czech product line. We've recently added new fire polished and pressed bead styles to our catalog in order to help you bridge the color gap between the two types of beads. We will be adding more complimentary Czech beads to the site as we receive new shipments from the factory.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Category - 1.5mm Cubes

These itty-bitty cubes are amazingly detailed with well defined corners and smooth edges. Approximately 60 colors are now available, with an additional 40 colors to be added within the next few weeks. We've put a lot of research into our color selection to ensure that you have the best variety of today's most popular colors and finishes to choose from. Notice how TOHO has managed to maximize the inner thread space of the bead with their signature diamond shaped hole -- even on such a tiny bead! perfect for interlocking stitches as well as intricate geometric patterns. Have fun and experiment with this new size; try taking some of your favorite cube patterns and shrink them down!

See the current new items here:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Shapes, New Colors, New Sizes

They're finally up -- See all 15 new items in 3 great shapes! These new colors were an experiment from the glass factory and may never be produced again.

Try out the new curvy leaf shape or go abstract with the vintage styled 17/11mm flat twists. Perfect for Earrings, pendants and other dangles!

Another new addition to our catalog are our 5mm Mini Melons:
Now one of our most popular pressed bead shapes is available miniaturized! Enjoy working with the 8mm Melons? Have fun shrinking down some of your designs to a whole new level. We've got a great selection to start with plenty more to come! In stock now are some of today's most popular colors that coordinate nicely with the larger melons, which have a newly expanded selection as well.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Saturated With Color, Surrounded by Beads

We unexpectedly received our latest ocean container full of beads bright and early this morning! We usually get a heads up from the trucking company but were pleasantly surprised nevertheless. We've been busy digging through the boxes and organizing all the new styles as well as the many restock items. Be sure to watch as we add plenty of new items to our catalog including 5mm & 8mm Melon Rounds, HurriCane Glass, Polished Rectangles, Dagger beads and much much more!

Here are some of the beads I was able to photograph and activate right away. This non-facetted briolette shape is a staff favorite because of the way it amplifies and distorts the colors in the glass. The opaque colored beads are impressive as well because of their natural stone look. The beads in the pictures below are bunched together, but if you take a look at our website stock photos you can see how the colors change with more light shining through their wide surfaces.

Czech Pear Shaped Drops
Czech Pear Shaped Drops
Czech Pear Shaped Drops

To see the rest of the new items we've recently added go to:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TOHO SuperNova Hybrids

Introducing the newest innovation in seed beads
Toho SuperNova Hybrids!
Toho SuperNova HybridsHere at Starman, Inc. we pride ourselves in bringing you the best of both bead worlds, Czech glass and Japanese seed beads. Now we've combined the two greatest names in the bead industry to bring you the latest technologies in color, quality and variety.
Toho manufactures the most uniform, wide-holed glass seed bead shapes you can buy, but beaders are always on the lookout for more color variety. Many people enjoy the color selection of Czech seed beads, but are fed up with the amount of unusable beads per hank. Our factory in the Czech Republic is the leader of finish technology throughout the region. It takes a village to manufacture a bead from start to finish and it's quite possible that most of your own stash from Czech Republic that has been treated with luster, picasso, or metallic finishes have passed through our factory doors. Toho hybrids bridge the gap between Czech and Japanese seed beads by giving you quality beads with a sought after color palette. Now you can easily match your seed bead components to your fire polished, pressed and table cut beads without sacrificing quality! Stay tuned for more examples of how these beads compare to our most popular Czech beads.
90 colors to choose from! Since the manufacturing process takes longer than traditional Toho beads supplies are limited and outages are expected to occur. Stock up while you can and be one of the first vendors to offer the latest addition to the Toho product line -- SuperNova Hybrids!
Metallic Amethyst Comparison
Hybrid Metallic Amethyst

Apollo Comparison

Hybrid Apollo

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Special Glass Cane, Special Shapes!

Coming Soon! Here's a sneak peak of some of the fancy colors about to appear on!
We're adding 15 new beads in an assortment of unique and vintage shapes. The beads are made of glass cane that is no longer manufactured by the Czech glass factory.

Keep an eye out for these new items. You won't want to miss them! Supplies are extremely limited and cannot be reproduced!

Check our new items page to see what's been recently added:

Each batch of glass varies slightly from the next, and some colors look completely different in cane form than when they are reheated and pressed into beads. The glass factory presses a small amout of each batch as a sample for customers to use for color matching. You can see on the above sample how the striped pattern changes depending on how the bead is pressed. We never know how a bead batch will turn out until it arrives on our doorstep! The real fun is trying to find the right shape to compliment the natural color swirls of the glass.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Strawberries to Peaches

The Czech glass industry has a rich history that spans multiple generations. The quality and variety produced throughout the years continues to be unmatched by any other country.

Although manufacturing technologies are constantly improving, the true art of glass making is still reliant on the knowledge and skills of the glassmaker's themselves. Many fascinating colors have been discontinued over the years because their recipes have been lost; mostly due to talented people leaving the industry, or sadly even death. Relatives still living in the glass making regions of Bohemia often tell avid vintage bead collectors of their families history in the area, including how war and communism effected the production, variety, and availability of some beads.
There are multiple bead manufacturers throughout Bohemia ranging from small, independent cottage workers, to large, full service factories. Regardless of size, each company complies with the industry standard numbering system, which categorizes the shape, size, glass cane color, and finish of each and every bead produced. This helps the companies work together in a seamless manner.
No matter how organized and technologically advanced the industry gets, there are always small changes that are beyond anyone's control. If you've noticed copper lined beads, for example, have become extremely difficult to come by these days. Why? because the one manufacturer that supplied the coating to the the rest of the factories was suddenly unable to reproduce the same quality as before. In this blog I will occasionally note some of the changes we've come across that are simply unavoidable. Sometimes the changes could be temporary; the glass factory makes such large batches that it may take six months before they need to produce more. Sure, it can be frustrating at times, but there is always a chance that the latest batch will turn out even better than before. In any case, the odd colored beads make for a great addition to any bead collector's stash!
Below is a picture of one of the latest changes to our catalog. "Strawberries and Creme" is now being described as "Peaches and Creme". Strawberries and CremePeaches and CremeWe never know how a bead batch turns out until it shows up on our doorstep. The strawberry version is a relatively recent addition to our catalog and we've carried it in many styles. As new batches have been arriving over the past six months or so, we've had to rename and re-photograph the new beads for accuracy. When will it change back? Nobody knows. If you like one or the other better, make sure you get as much as you can while you can!

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Czech Fire Polish

Take an in-depth look at our new, brightly colored 8mm fire polished beads. Look familiar? They are finished with the same coating as our popular luster collection, except they're opaque instead of transparent. Such rich, saturated colors!

Click on the photos to see enlarged versions, or go see them on the website:

You can see our entire luster collections by using the following links:
Fire Polished

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MJSA Rhode Island Show 2008

Well, we're back in Sequim after spending a week on the east coast for the Providence MJSA Summer show 2008. We met a lot of great people in the industry and were able to catch up with friends, customers and business associates we don't see very often.

The MJSA Shows are a greatly under-utilized resource for bead stores and large scale jewelry designers. There are representatives from some of the largest names in the industry. Since it's not a cash and carry show you get personalized service from prospective vendors and you're able to make informed decisions about product lines before you buy.

On a lighter note, I've included the picture below for fellow west-coasters as evidence that I was in fact, partaking in east coast culture:

I hadn't been to a Dunkin' Donuts in over 20 years! It was my guilty pleasure throughout the week and I was surprised to see them on just about every corner. Even the Rhode Island convention center was sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Melon Season

It's been quite the busy week here at the warehouse. We not only received our eagerly anticipated ocean container on wednesday, a week earlier than scheduled, but our oft delayed air shipment showed up a few hours later. This means we'll be spending the next week digging through towers of boxes and piles of shrink wrap -- just like Christmas! We've already been able to mark dozens of items back in stock, but there's plenty more to come over the next few days. Also included in these shipments are dozens of new items in all sorts of shape, color and finish combinations.
Here are pictures of some of the new melons we were able to organize and upload to the website. There are many of our regular 8mm melon colors back in stock as well. Check them all out here!

Melon Bead

287-08-Z5080: Chrysolite Celsian
Melon Bead


287-08-77553: Coral Pink/Green
Melon Bead

287-08-12000: Milky Caramel

Monday, September 8, 2008

End of a Legacy

As many of you may be aware, one of our most talented and reliable Czech lampwork designers has left the industry. She moved on to another field of work in The Czech Republic and will be greatly missed. Her collection of traditional Czech lampwork beads has been an integral part of our catalog since the beginning as well as the many unique creations she has released over the years.

You can view our remaining stock from her company here. They are extremely limited and are only available while supplies last. Some of the styles may make a comeback on our website through different artisans at a later time; however the color, shape and overall style may vary slightly due to artistic differences.
Stay tuned for more designer Czech lampwork to be added on in the coming months!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Black Light Sensitive Glass - Milky Jonquil

Glass color #81000 - Milky Jonquil
milky jonquil under regular light

Milky Jonquil under Black Light
Big Bold and Beautiful - These Chunky Nugget beads are fun and flashy. Milky Jonquil is a mild yellow that can blend in with soft pastels as well as stand out on its own when paird with other vivid and lively colors. Unlike many UV sensitive beads, milky jonquil is a great complimentary color to the brilliant green it turns into under the black light.
These beads are available for a limited time -Loose Large Nuggets 33/19mm : Milky Yellow - Get them while supplies last!

Alexandrite at its Best

Click on picture to see an enlarged version.

Pear Shaped Drops 315-1216: Color 21210 - Milky Alexandrite

Some beads beg to have their picture taken. I don't usually jump at the chance to take pictures of alexandrite glass because its shape shifting, color bending properties do not make great stock photos. This time it was different; the beads couldn't hide their excitement from being touched by the sun beaming through the window. I grabbed my point and shoot and clicked away.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Round and Round

New colors now available for a limited time. Since we can't always fit the full impact of the color infusion contain within each HurriCane glass bead in a standard catalog stock photo, I've added these larger pictures for your enjoyment. Click on the individual photos for even larger versions.

Czech HurriCane Glass

Matte - Fuzzy Peach

Czech HurriCane Glass

Matte - Stratosphere

Czech HurriCane Glass


Czech HurriCane Glass

Summer & Lightning

Czech HurriCane Glass


Friday, August 8, 2008

Toho's Colorful Gold Lined Rainbow Series

Click on pictures to view large, high resolution versions.
990 - Gold-Lined Aqua
991 - Gold-Lined Peridot
992 - Gold-Lined Lt Montana Blue
993 - Gold-Lined Black Diamond
994 - Gold-Lined Rainbow Crystal
995 - Gold-Lined Rainbow Aqua
996 - Gold-Lined Rainbow Peridot
997 - Gold-Lined Rainbow Lt Sapphire
998 - Gold-Lined Rainbow Lt Jonquil
999- Gold-Lined Rainbow Black Diamond
These beads are some of my favorites to work with. This series (color numbers 990 thru 999) includes both the super shiny luster finish as well as the soap bubbly rainbow iris. The gold colored lining contrasts with the brilliant glass color and finish to create beads with a wide color spectrum, which makes the beads easy to include in just about any design. View our entire color selection here!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Rustic Table Cut Collection

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Crystal Colors

11 New crystal colors just added-- New & unique colors like none other! We offer many color combinations and luster finishes that are unavailable through any other vendor! Looking for the right colors to compliment Czech fire polished beads in your design? These colorful crystals will add sparkle to any project. What a fun addition to any crystal junkie's collection!
View our entire 4mm bicone collection here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Down to Earth Tones

Just added! Check out our entire selection of 24 soft, organic color combinations. Names inspired by some of the most beautiful points of interest in North America and around the globe; these beads are truly unique. Available while supplies last -- these colors cannot be reproduced!