In February, The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass once again hosted a beadmaking marathon to benefit an organization called Beads of Courage that helps children with serious illnesses mark milestones in their treatment through the use of beads.
Asked how she first learned about Beads of Courage, artist and Museum glassmaker, Jessi Moore, said, “We are always on the lookout for opportunities to use our skills and facilities to help organizations. Beads of Courage is a very neat organization whose mission is admirable. We first heard about this organization through Kurt Carlson, who works here at the Museum.”
According to Moore, programs like this allow The Studio to give back to the community and help spread knowledge about glass. For her, volunteers are also a big part of what makes the day so special. “There is so much great energy in the flame shop on this day and we are always excited to see what our participating artists come up with,” she said.
This year, twenty-two skilled beadmakers generously donated their time and talents for this event, some traveling from several hours away in order to participate. Phil Rogerson, a beadmaker from Rochester, New York, traveled with a group from the Rochester Arc & Flame Center, where he’s been teaching for the past three years. Rogerson started making glass beads six years ago when his wife asked him to take a beadmaking class with her at The Corning Museum of Glass. “I got hooked,” he said.
Rogerson, who, with his wife Lisa has donated more than a thousand beads from their own studio, said, “We were fortunate a couple years ago to meet one of the BOC members, Jessi. I think meeting her brought home to all of us the importance of Beads of Courage to these kids. They’re fighting battles that kids shouldn’t have to face and these beads really help them.”
These beads are, according to Moore, “all acts of courage beads that are for special milestones in treatment. We want these beads to reflect and reward the child’s treatment journey and really be something unique and special.”
With glass and materials provided by The Studio, volunteers and Museum staff fired up all ten torches in the flame shop and, in just eight short hours, created 462 beads to donate to this great cause.
When asked what advice he would offer to someone who wants to participate, but doesn’t know how to make beads yet, Phil Rogerson said, “Find a good beginning class in basic bead making (somewhere like CMoG or Rochester Arc & Flame), practice up and gain proficiency to make solid beads, and go to it. You won’t regret it.”