BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. — Bruce Breslow just wanted to find the right variety of marbles to go with the games he built.
The owner and artist of Moon Marble Company opened his store in 1997 and hasn’t lost his passion for making marbles. This past weekend, Breslow — a Platte City resident — held the 17th annual Moon Marble Crazy event to give customers and those just curious a chance to see how the work gets done.
Breslow used to be the lone demonstrator, but in recent years, he added other marble artists to provide a unique event for the community and surrounding area.
This year, Marble Crazy featured artist John Kobuki from Seattle, Wash. who demonstrated his technique for creating marbles with glass flowers inside. Other artists had their own marble designs on display and for sale including earrings, necklaces and kaleidoscopes made completely out of glass.
“For years it was just me making marbles all the time,” Breslow said. “Then I thought, maybe my customers would like to see other artists come in and I got the idea for just a few artists to come in, and we started the first Marble Crazy and had an overwhelming response that people loved it. We’ve done it every year since.”
More than 20 artists were on hand this past weekend from all areas of the country from California, West Virginia, Minnesota, Idaho, Utah, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Kansas. Dozens visited the decorated store at 600 E Front St. along the Kansas River.
The busy days of demonstrations were a much different scene than the humble beginnings.
“We wanted marbles that we had as children,” said.
This “need” led him to open the store in 1997. The store carries an incredibly wide variety of marbles in different colors and sizes — from pee wee (½ inch) to toebreakers (2 inches). Breslow can often be found explaining the process of glass work, marble history and more to those interested.
In addition to the marbles, Moon Marble offers traditional toys and games for purchase.
“When I was in school, they started us off in second grade in home economics part of the year and woodshop the other part,” Breslow said of his interest in making things. “And everybody took it — all the boys and all the girls; we all took it. People have to know how to make things, and you can’t just make everything on the computer. You’ve got to learn how to use metal; we have to learn how to use glass, how to create things with wood.
“So I think to stay strong you need to have manual skills.”
The store operates with about 10 employees, many of them members of the Breslow family. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Others interested in making purchases can visit www.moonmarble.com.
“Visitors to the store will enjoy perusing the displays of antique marble toys or maybe ‘knuckling down,’ if they remember how,” the store’s site reads. “Shoppers are sure to find something special for everyone on their list among our selection of special and unusual items.”