On Sunday, March 3, 2019, the energy in the flameshop at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass was buzzing as many experienced beadmakers gathered to participate in a beadmaking marathon in support of a wonderful program called Beads of Courage. Beads of Courage is an organization that distributes handmade glass beads to hospitals to be given to children in recognition of milestones in their treatment for severe or chronic illnesses.
To make this event possible, The Studio opened its flameshop and all 10 torches, and provided all of the tools and materials to be used. Almost 20 beadmakers, both staff and volunteers, came together and got to work. In just eight short hours, they created hundreds of beautiful and unique glass beads, which will all be donated to Beads of Courage. Some participating artists even brought previously made beads for donation as well.
The feeling in the room was warm and fun, with some artists traveling hours to donate their time. Many of the beadmakers have participated in our Beads of Courage events in the past, and were thrilled to return once again. Other invited beadmakers who were unable to attend set aside time in their own home studios to produce beads to add to our donation. This event shows the passion our glass community has, not just for glassmaking, but for each other. Participating artists used skills, acquired over many decades, to give back and to provide solace and hope some of the most vulnerable. We are very grateful to be a part of that community.
The Studio is very proud to be able to facilitate this event again and support such a fantastic organization and all that they do. Without the enthusiastic participation of our glass community, this would not have been possible, so we extend our deepest gratitude to each and every glass artist who took time out of their day to join us, and make this beadmaking marathon a great success once again.
We also extend our thanks for a very generous donation of materials from Robin Lehman. This donation gave our participants access to a large supply of Lauscha glass rods from the historic German glass town of Lauscha, which started making glass in 1597 and was the birthplace of the glass Christmas ornament.
To understand of the impact that Beads of Courage can have on children and their families, read this blog post written by the mother of Harper Grace, a beautiful young girl who was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a rare genetic disorder. Harper’s mom tells how Beads of Courage helped her family and her daughter cope, and how it provided inspiration for her.
For information on how you can learn to be a glass beadmaker, check out the list of available classes offered at The Studio.