Jeri Warhaftig Blasts Off!

March 11, 2011, 17:00 pm  Posted by Lark

Jeri Warhaftig

Last year, I had the pleasure of editing Creating Glass Beads, the just-released book by author and glass bead artist Jeri Warhaftig. Jeri told me she would donate all of the test beads she made while developing the 10 tutorials in her book to a charity called “Beads of Courage” (BOC for short). Just last week, after a juried process, Jeri was honored to learn that one of her beads was included in a Beads of Courage – NASA charitable project called Beads in Space. Her STAR bead will be carried into space on NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, Mission STS-134 on April 19, 2011. How cool is that?!

This good news is a great excuse to share some info about this worthy group with Lark’s readers. I had a little Q and A with Jeri; with the help of the Beads of Courage organization, she told me all about the charity and its good work.

Q: What is Beads of Courage and how is it part of a charitable effort?
A:  Beads of Courage is an Arts in Medicine program in 91 hospitals around the world, that helps children facing life-threatening illness. Children are able to select beads as badges of courage honoring everything the child has been through on their treatment journey.

Q: Where do the beads come from?
A: There are many sources, but glass beadmakers from around the world donate handmade glass beads that help support Beads of Courage programs.  Last year 41,000 glass beads were donated; in 2011 that number will need to double to keep up with new sites coming on board every month. You can learn how to donate at www.BeadsofCourage.org.

Q: How did you get involved with this program?
A: The International Society of Glass Beadmakers has long supported Beads of Courage and many of its members donate beads, and sponsor daylong events to make beads for BOC. I usually give them the demo beads from my classes, and also the test beads created in development of my books’ tutorials.

Sydney Newton wears the long strand of beads that represents her courage during cancer treatment.

Q: How did Beads of Courage get involved with NASA and the Beads in Space initiative?

A: Beads in Space started with 6-year-old Sydney Newton, who amassed a strand of beads that encircled her neck three times, and physically demonstrated her six months of cancer treatment. Her father arranged for Beads of Courage to be included in the payload for the Space Shuttle Atlantis last year. Seventeen space-themed beads were selected to travel into space. There is a great article about the first flight here.

Q: Can you tell us about the Beads in Space flight that includes your bead?
A: Earlier this year, I answered a Call for Entries. Beads in Space asked for the submission of small space-themed beads that would appeal to kids. 124 beads were submitted for jury consideration, and 39 beads were selected. My STAR bead has a dichroic glass core, copper stars, and a sandblasted star pattern.  The hole is lined with sterling silver. I am thrilled out of my mind to be selected for several reasons. It is a worthy cause, it is the last space shuttle launch, and it is led by  Commander Mark Kelly, who happens to be from my hometown of West Orange, New Jersey.

Jeri's STAR bead, which will be on board the April 19 Space Shuttle Endeavor flight.

Q: What will happen to the beads after they return from space?
A:  Upon return, the Beads in Space beads will travel the U.S. to Beads of Courage hospitals in an exhibit to bring a BOOST of enCOURAGEment to children facing life-threatening illness. Each child will receive a poster with pictures of the beads on them as well as a commemorative pewter Beads of Courage shuttle bead. Check out www.BeadsofCourage.org for more information.

You can view a CBS News video about Beads of Courage here.

Below are just a few of the other beads going up on the Endeavor. See every one of the beads by going here.


8 Responses

    Ray Hemachandra says:

    Jeri, Beads of Courage is an outstanding organization, and it’s so heartening you’re a part of it. And about the STAR bead being sent into space on the Shuttle Endeavor: that’s just awesome!

    Sharon Driscoll says:

    Jeri, It’s spectacular that your bead is traveling in space – and that it’s also going to phenominal BOC and the children they serve is frosting on the cake! And now that Lark is involved via this wonderful blog….Ray – Make sure you mention to your readers that BOC accepts more than our humble lampwork beads. Go Jeri, BOC, and Lark.

    Babette Cox says:

    Hi Jeri – Congratulations on having your bead selected to go on a shuttle into outer space. Of course all the beads were wonderful; I liked your design the best-est! Say, I just got your newest book 2 days ago. I’m thrilled to finally get a book I can love. Really. It’s so discouraging to get a book with fantabulous bead pictures (even instructions) and know you’ll never even ‘get there’. Your book relates to the designers (I have taken some lessons from Ginny Hampton-Schmidt, btw) and their interpretation of each project as well as the beads you made just getting ready to do the step-outs for the final bead. Hooray for you. I never knew you had to do so many before the actual BEST one for the book. What a wonderful thing to know! Good grief. THANK YOU. You really put it all out there for us. Thank you Thank you. I have already done 2 of the projects. I’m doing them in order. So . . . is there an e-mail where I can show you what I learned from you? I may put them on my Blog (which I haven’t touched in a couple years) and then you can see my progress at your good time and pleasure. I believe I will. OK, today is Saturday, March 12. Give me a day or so – and I’ll have these photographed and on the blog. http://babettecox.com/blog.htm
    Bye for now! Babette

    Lorena Angulo says:

    Congrats Jeri !!
    I really love your idea of giving away your beads for this wonderful organization !!
    Love your book and I think you are an incredible artist and person.

    Kbackstein says:

    Congratulations–what a great cause and it’s thrilling to know they your bead is going up in space.

    And what an adorable collection of beads!

    Most important: is there an update on Sydney? How is she doing?

    Great story.

    Kbackstein says:

    Whoops–that should be: it’s thrilling THAT your bead…”

    Jamie says:

    Sydney is doing well. You can check on her at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sydneynewton

    Jamie – Sydney’s Dad

    [...] another book review and another giveaway!! Yay!! This one is a review for the newly released book, Creating Glass Beads by Jeri L. Warhaftig. This book contains a bunch of really cool glass bead projects. I’m loving the Glass Momento [...]

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