Beyond Ceremony into a World of Imagination and Wonderment
Remember the delight and thrill of seeing that first firework, the incredible magic lighting up the sky with cascades of colour and sparkle. For centuries scientists and the populace at large have wondered and marvelled at the magic of GLASS. It beguiled and fascinated many with its many applications and ever more so in recent decades. The diversity of glass has known no boundaries except the limitations of the human imagination.
Like gazing into an open sky at night, the twinkling of the many thousands of stars can only light the imagination of what lies beyond and what the universe has in store.
The Glass Sellers’ Company throughout the years has sought to support those pushing the boundaries in the world of glass starting with George Ravenscroft. In recent times this backing has been through the charity and the awards it presents and projects it supports. The Trustees are ever mindful of their responsibility in stimulating the magic and fascination in Glass.
The sense of community, enrichment of knowledge and to kindle the fascination in Glass is by no means an easy task. However, the Charity’s flagship project, Glass in Society, easily fulfills these aims. An ability to sow seeds inspiring wonder in the “Magic of Glass”, in the very many young people involved.
Remember the look of delight on your children’s and their children’s faces when you have shown them some magic or a wonder of this incredible world in which we live. That too is replicated by opening a new world in the classroom through grants to schools applying for funds to stimulate an interest in a glass related project.
The earth is a precious place and young people have a greater awareness of a need to protect its resources. Caring for the environment, exploring bio diversity as well as applications in engineering and science are all encompassed in projects undertaken, to date, by the schools involved with Glass in Society.
What are these projects
A recent project was to fund the purchase of microscopes for Shrubland Street Primary School in Leamington Spa. This developed into a shared resource for a partnership of 12 Schools and benefited over 3000 pupils. This has allowed them to study light, examine Martian soil samples, learn about friction on different surfaces and study insects. The possibilities are endless. The look of wonder and enlightened disbelief on a child’s face as they look through the tiny aperture has to be seen, as a whole new magical world opens up. Then the wisdom and delight as they in turn learn about the complexities of the universe through the application of Glass.
Projects are cutting edge such as comparing the performance of biconvex glass and polymer lenses in Google VR viewers; or re-moulding the body of a 750 Formula racing car out of fibreglass – the scary understanding of speed and the use of glass fibre and its many applications with is adaptability and diversity.
Kingswinford School opened up the universe with the building of its Glass Sellers sponsored observatory which continues to benefit the whole community.
Other schools have built green houses and are studying the growth of plants both inside and out. Holy Family School in Walthamstow looked at growing plants in Space and investigated the greenhouse effect created in their toughened glass greenhouse and sustainability of the life within the micro climate.
The reach is enormous and the applications incredible even to investigating how glass could be used in the treatment of cancer. This was achieved by attempting to make different types of glass and testing to see which could sustain temperatures of 40 degrees the longest.
Who has benefited and what is the reach
The largest area, to date, to have benefited from support is the Midlands.
Historically the home of Glass manufacture and alas now much declined, though the heritage remains deeply ingrained in communities, some with hardships.
What does it cost
Each project is evaluated by a detailed application and the maximum awarded is around £1K. Once granted the project is monitored and scrutinised to ensure its success and the benefits gained. The resource and maximum potential is paramount.
How can you kindle that imagination?
The Trustees are only limited by the funds available. Teachers, Schools and Colleges are lined up with projects awaiting approval and funding. The Glass Sellers’ Charity, Glass in Society Project started in 1990 with a grant to Wath-upon-Dearne Comprehensive School, Rotherham. The reach is now much extended with projects carried out over the years in many parts of the country such as Manchester, Norfolk, the Isle of Wight, the West Midlands, Hampshire and the more deprived boroughs of London.
Regular small donations to the Charity, legacies and any other financial contribution can help to support this initiative and broaden the knowledge and application of Glass.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your help and support. Or make a donation