Play for Keeps

The Moon Marble Company (600 East Front Street in Bonner Springs) is fronted by a large retail space stocked with colorful glass marbles — 1 million of them, according to owner Bruce Breslow.
Ten years ago, he was a carpenter. After making some wooden game boards, he decided he needed glass marbles to use as game pieces. The bulk quantity he ordered was much larger than expected. “One morning, my wife said, “Bruce, there’s a truck outside. How many marbles did you order?” So many, it turns out, that he was immediately in the business of selling them.
Having since accumulated the equipment and skills for glassmaking, he now creates elegant pieces of art glass. And on Tuesdays and Fridays, he gives free demonstrations of marble making to groups of customers. At a special workbench, Breslow spins the ends of glass canes under blue-hot flame until they form spheres of malleable liquid glass. He spins stories, too — the history of marble making; various techniques; the time an uncooled marble rolled from the workbench during a demonstration for a group of Brownies and landed on Breslow’s pants, which burst into flame. “Immediately, all the little girls stopped, dropped and rolled. And I didn’t have any space to drop myself because they took the whole floor. The medium is challenging, and the results are beautiful. Call 913-441-1432 for demonstration times.

Tuesdays, Fridays, 2007