We love to collaborate with other creative people. We do our best, with the information we have at the time, to create a mutually beneficial arrangement when we join creative energy with others.
Our first collaborator was Kalera Stratton, who goes by Beadwife on Facebook. We had created, and made available to other beadmakers, the ZooziiPillow. Kalera was a beadmaker who was making a shape by hand, but immediately saw how much time could be saved if she had a tool that aided in the shaping so she could focus on the decoration! Perfect, that has been our mission since the beginning to aid beadmakers in creating a canvas, or a basic base, for their glass art. Kalera sent us beads and we created the press, in multiple sizes! Kalera was thrilled, and so were the other beadmakers who were able to add this great tool to their collection.
Val Cox was the innovator that explored glass blowing frit, and despite being told it wouldn't work to use in beadmaking, she tested dozens of frit to find those that would work with our medium. She created Val Cox Frit which changed the color palette for artists and inspired many other individuals to create businesses built on her model. How does a frit designer collaborate with a press maker?
Val made amazing sample beads with her frit. She liked lots of layers to highlight all the amazing pops of color that her frit provided. Encasing each layer in clear. Her shape was made with a tool she created out of a copper pipe. When I spend a few days in her PA studio, learning her techniques and sharing stories, she asked me to keep the tool under wraps. Of course! Well, a few weeks later she reached out to see if we could design a tool in brass that would allow her more flexibility in size and shaping of her olive shaped beads. We had a great time working out what would become the Val Cox Marver. Val's vision is on all aspects of this tool, including the teal base.
Jeff Albro was dating a glass beadmaker. He was of the engineering mindset, and started to create fun tools for his girlfriend to use. This turned into a fun "side business" for Jeff. He learned some beadmaking techniques, himself, which is how I met him, at a class we were all taking! While Jeff's business continued to grow, he realized that it was too big to be a side thing and not big enough to be a full time thing. He reached out to us to see if we'd be willing to take over production, and still pay him royalties for his intellectual property! That is how the cabochon mandrels, Cones and Cap mandrels and the Heart mandrels that were all thought up in his mind were added to the Zooziis line!
Marj Bates has been a glass artist since the 90's. She is best known for her glass knobs that she sells via her website Glass Things, and at shows in the Cape Cod area where she lives. Her passion for glass knobs led her to create the Make-A-Knob Kit. I had found this kit in a little bead shop in NH, so when I started making presses to aid in the shaping of glass knobs, I knew who to reach out to! She was touched by my integrity to find a way to collaborate instead of taking her idea and running with it on my own, which I clearly could have done with the tooling I had available to me! No, way! That's not how I want to be known! We have been selling her tooling on our site ever since! If you want the best quality knob inserts on the market, pick up a Make-A-Knob Kit!