Just what Bali Bead?
You have listened to the term no doubt, but what just is a “Bali Bead”? The reply may seem apparent – just about any bead from Bali needs to fit the bill. In fact, the term is far more specific. It traditionally describes hand made, sterling silver beads through Bali, Indonesia.
Bali is really a tiny tropical island around the vast Indonesian islands. An island of Hindus in a country with the biggest Muslim population in the world, Bali is the cultural repository of the rich heritage. This tradition includes a tradition of metallic smithing that dates back many years and reached a peak during the Majapahit Dynasty from the 14th and 15th millennia. When Islam swept the islands of Indonesia, Indio artisans fled to Bali, where to this day, they carry on and practice their craft.
Although Balinese traditionally wear merely high karat gold necklaces, in the 1970’s they did start to work in silver for the export market and easily achieved a global reputation intended for intricate designs in granulation and wirework. Really reasonable prices assured their good results. From the onset, however, troubles with authenticity and good quality control have plagued the organization.
With the rising popularity of Bali beads, unscrupulous businessmen get entered the market, making it tough for customers to navigate through a lot of potential suppliers. As well as businesses that advertise “Bali Beads” made in Turkey or maybe India. In this instance, they are usually talking about a style- silver shaded beads with intricate styles against a contrasting background- but the terminology can also be purposely deceptive. These beads tend to be of low or no content silver.
They may be reduced grade silver polished into a high finish for the momentary look of sterling. Alternatively, several companies cast base steel or even plastic, both of which are often silver plated to fantastic effect. Other manufacturers help to make moulds of handmade beans and cast them. Quite a lot of the detail and structure are lost in this practice but the untrained eye is usually easily misled.
Unfortunately, an abundance of authentic Balinese beads can also be made from silver of suspicious purity. To earn examination ‘sterling silver’ beads need to be a minimum of. 925 silver. To get this level consistently, you have to begin with an even higher level of sterling silver since a certain degree of disease is unavoidable in homemade products. Many smiths usually are reluctant to incur that additional expense. The temptations to dilute the magic proves irresistible to many smiths, especially if they are pressured to take prices.
When I decided to commence producing Balinese beads and also findings over a decade before, there were very few silversmiths making beads. After adding Balinese handicrafts and jewellery for quite some time, I was well aware of the problems I would face. These problems included bringing production inside on time, meeting design needs with precision, and ensuring consistent quality. Building my personal production facility became a vital part of my business plan.
Along with a closed shop we are able to meticulously monitor production and intercede before problems become entrée. By providing meals, we guarantee that our smiths are well-nourished (hungry people don’t carry out good work). By spending a fair wage we guarantee that our employees have a vested interest in seeing the company do well. By employing women on an identical footing to men, we all do our part to be able to empower women in a lifestyle where they are traditionally submissive, obedient, compliant, acquiescent, and docile to men. Some of these concerns seem tangential to top quality, but they all add up to a key principle – pride in solution.
Many problems with the silver level of quality have simple explanations. Weak tools lead to poor quality guttae and many smiths can’t manage or don’t have access to current tools. The same can be said connected with supplies, everything from the blackening solution that gives Bali guttae their high contrast, to help polishing compounds, to very simple things like sandpaper, which also comes in varying grades. Proper workstations, torches, lighting and setting up, all of these contribute to the quality of the finished product.
There are certain factors, like pin backs and also earring posts that should often be machine-made in order to ensure uniformity and reliability. At the facility, we regularly transfer state of the art supplies and products to assist in production. This specific policy is part of any conscious effort to use technological innovation to enhance traditional craftsmanship as opposed to supplant it.
Even the finest silver, supplies and products don’t guarantee results. We certainly have a whole department dedicated to top quality control where beads are usually examined one by one for their conclusion, detail, size and shape. Routine assessment is also necessary to assure that smiths aren’t tempted to jean pocket sterling silver and substitute a cheaper grade.
Beyond the technical level of quality, design integrity adds a different dimension to any discussion of Bali beads. There is a small main of designs that have turned into accepted as generic Bali beads. Apart from these, thoughts are the only limit consider creating exciting new layouts. At Nina Designs, most of us invest considerable time and strength in creating innovative new designs. Due to the fact most of us come from a jewellery track record, we design each brand new collection of beads with complementing findings like clasps as well as earring tops.
This approach enables designers to create whole outlines of jewellery based on one of the many various motif themes found in our own catalogue. We respond to the actual relentless pace of the style world by offering new bead collections every six months. This enables our clients to give their jewellery lines a fresh, updated appearance every season.
Unfortunately, numerous vendors of Bali beans simply graze on what these people find available on the pavements of Celuk, the primary gold producing village in Bali. They buy generic patterns or knock-offs of others’ work. At best, this approach contributes to a boring selection, if the worst comes to the worst it violates copyright laws. In practical terms, there are other probable complications.
When designs are generally copied out of context many of them morph into caricatures of the original model. I have viewed toggle clasps where the cafes don’t fit through the roads and obvious copies involving my designs where the thoroughly arranged patterns have become blobs of random shapes.
Therefore, how do you tell a genuine, premium quality Bali bead from citrus? Rule one: Know your own personal supplier. Is the company better established? Do they have a catalogue or maybe a showroom? Do they have their own creation facility? Are they committed to having to pay fair wages? Do they utilize imported supplies? Do they offer smiths with imported gear? Do they create their own styles?
If a company meets these types of criteria it will have greater overhead and therefore higher costs, but the company is much more prone to stand by its product. Gypsy traders with low overhead can undercut established companies but they are difficult to hold responsible for shoddy products.
Reasonable individuals can disagree on how a lot a high-quality sterling silver Bali bead should cost. For many, Bali beads are a commodity, traded by the gram. The g pricing is very competitive, placing pressure on smiths as well as wholesalers to cut corners and create fraudulent claims. At Nina Designs, we treat every bead as a miniature masterpiece of design. As such, we buy and sell all of them individually, giving both the bead and the silversmith typically the respect they deserve. In return, we offer our clients the highest good quality beads.