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 czechbeads.com!
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: http://www.czechbeads.com/Catalog/Products.aspx?s=new

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!