A Look Back: The Flip Side

As many of you know, texture is one part of the Balance Bead equation. The textured back helps prevent the Balance Bead from slipping around because it creates a small amount of friction.

In September of last year, when I was just beginning to manufacture them, I hadn’t figured out a way to build the texture into the mold. Therefore, I had to hand “scratch” the back of each one with an engraving tool. That process was very labor intensive, and it prevented me from achieving a uniform look from bead to bead. And let’s be honest, it wasn’t very pretty!

By November, I’d created the first mold with a textured back. The mold was created from a hand-textured piece, so although I could now achieve uniformity from piece to piece, it still didn’t have a professional look. Also, can you see my meager attempt at branding on this version? I engraved “BB” into the piece for the first time.

In February of this year, I had a CAD (computer-aided design) model created based on my handmade design. The computer was able to achieve a level of precision my little hands could not. And check out the branding at this point: a real logo! I was pretty happy with the look of the back at this point and stuck with it for the majority of this year.

This month, I finished my newest batch of Balance Beads! Although I was happy with the previous version, I wanted the design to be just a little bit cleaner. See how the edge is smoother? The texture dots are more uniform? The logo is cleaner? I was able to achieve that by creating a revised CAD and using a metal mold (as opposed to a rubber mold which had previously been used).

You may also notice that the surface area is slightly greater than it had been in the past. Well, that’s a story for a future post!