This just in: Glass bead makers from all around the world are vying for a spot on the next space shuttle. It's true! But the space they're competing for is less than 30mm long on every side. Surely even the tiniest glass bead maker can't fit in a spot that small. That's because that tiny spot is actually reserved for a space-themed glass bead. There are approximately 35 small spots on the next space shuttle - set to launch on May 14 - for beads. Lampworkers are being encouraged to make space-themed beads, and the ones that are chosen by a panel of judges will get to ride the rocket into outer space. And when they come back? They'll be bead heros, of course! Then they'll be distributed to children in hospitals undergoing treatments for various illnesses. Those kids will have these wonderful little souveniers that have gone where no bead has gone before. How cool is that?
This entire program is being spearheaded by TEAM Beads of Courage - Beads in Space, which collects beads for children in hospitals to string as they finish treatments. The beads that don't make the cut for the shuttle launch will still go to the children, so it's a win-win for everyone! Lampworkers: there's still time to make your space-themed beads! Bead entries are due by April 12. I'm so excited to see the entries!
Here's my entry. I channeled my love for Wallace and Gromit's A Grand Day Out, and made a space dog that looks a little like Gromit. If you haven't seen this short film, I highly recommend it. Wallace runs out of cheese, so naturally he and Gromit build a rocket to fly to the moon to stock up. But I digress . . . I also made a rocket ship and an alien. I'm not expecting one of my beads to make the cut, but I really had fun stretching my imagination and trying something new. That's what it's all about. And either way, these beads will soon be in the hands of little kids, and that's just plain cool.