Nichole Starman

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Nichole Starman

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Exploring the Possibilities of 2-Hole Beading with CzechMates

Two-hole beads have always been a curiosity to me. Over the past 14 years I’ve reproduced just about every 2-hole bead shape I’ve come across within the Starman factory archives. I loved the idea of working with the vintage 2-hole beads, but I found that their usage was somewhat limited to connecting strands in simple stringing designs. Determined to justify the expansion of the Starman product line into such uncharted territory, it became my passion to design new 2-hole bead shapes and stitching methods that enhance the dimensional possibilities of traditional beading.

It was almost unheard of five years ago to incorporate 2-hole beads into intricate seed beadwork. While researching the concept, I asked a few prominent beadweavers if they were interested in working with beads that had double-holes. The responses I received were mostly indifferent. I was told that there was minimal use for a bead that didn’t have a hole through the center. Why add the complexity of a second hole when a single hole is all you need? I decided to develop the CzechMates Tile anyway, and with their input in mind, I challenged myself to create new techniques that could demonstrate the versatility of 2-hole beads. It only took a few compelling designs from forward-thinking artists to hit the market before those who were once hesitant started to realize that there were more design opportunities than they had ever thought possible.

Once I realized the structural potential that 2-hole beads could offer, I was inspired to expand into more shapes that could work as a system of dimensional tools. I started with the Brick and Lentil, each being both compatible and complimentary to each other. Then came the Triangle, which furthered the system’s versatility of depth and texture. With all the basic geometric shapes accounted for, I had my building blocks of modern beading.

It is exciting for me to watch 2-hole beading evolve. I love reading about the latest techniques that are being created by artists around the world. It’s fun to think how every component of each new design will influence the way we bead for years to come. It brings me joy to see new stitch configurations being developed in ways I never thought possible when designing the beads.

Nurturing the development of 2-hole beads rejuvenated my love for beading. The concept emerged at a time when beadwork trends were at a standstill. It has been exciting for me to watch this revolution take place. Not only are beaders learning to adapt traditional stitches to accommodate the new beads, but they are also developing advanced sculptural techniques. Since the concept caught on so quickly, there was talk about how long the trend could possibly last. I consider this time to be a milestone in the history of beading. The skills and the design possibilities that have emerged from 2-hole beading cannot be easily abandoned. Two-hole beads have gone from a curiosity to a concept, from a concept to art form of its own. Beading will never be the same.

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  • Nichole Starman

    Owner, Creator, Designer

    Nichole has been designing Czech glass bead shapes and colors since 2000. Her insight and knowledge of the glass bead market has led to some of the biggest revolutions in the beading world, including the CzechMates® 2-Hole Beading System.

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Last updated on October 22, 2014

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