LAWRENCEVILLE - An astronaut who blasted off Nov. 14 aboard the space shuttle Endeavour received a plate commemorating the launch that was created by two Suwanee artists.
Richard Greiner fired the ceramic plate and his wife, LaDonna, designed and painted the piece. Each of Endeavour's crew members received a plate created by ceramic artists throughout the U.S.
Owners of Creative ClayHouse, a paint-your-own-pottery studio in Suwanee, the Greiners were attending a Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association convention in Alabama when they were offered the opportunity to create the commemorative plate.
"We jumped at the chance," LaDonna Greiner said. "As former Florida residents, we visited the Space Center many times with our daughter and watched launches from our home and at the Cape."
"I felt it was a privilege to even be asked to do something like that," Richard Greiner added.
The 14-inch square plate features the STS-126 Endeavour emblem on a white background with the NASA emblem in the upper left corner and the text "Space Shuttle Endeavour" at the bottom.
"Of all the custom work I've done, this plate was one of the most detailed with all seven astronaut names in the border of the emblem, the shuttle returning to earth with a view of the sun rising over the earth with the space station in the background," said LaDonna Greiner, who began painting pottery three years ago.
The Endeavour crew's mission was to deliver equipment to the International Space Station to enable the complex to support additional crew members. The shuttle is set to return to Earth on Nov. 29.
"We appreciate the opportunity to give back to our community, and to our nation," LaDonna Greiner said. "The project for the STS-126 Space Shuttle flight is a reflection of patriotism, heroes, courage and unity. It is a testament to the generosity of many people who are proud to be Americans."