Glassblowing Workshop Offered Over Finals Week

During the Fall 2017 Finals Week, Dr. George Harakas offered free lampworking lessons to create glass icicles and candy canes. Lampworking, utilizes an oxygen/fuel torch to fuse and shape glass rods. Approximately 30 students, faculty, and staff from different majors and departments participated in the event. The participants learned how to fuse different colors of glass together and manipulate the glass to create glass ornaments. Each person was able to fashion a unique ornament based on their choices of colors and the final shape/size of their creation.

In the Spring 2018 semester, Dr. Harakas will be offering lessons on scientific glassblowing to chemistry majors. During that time, the students will learn how to cut, shape, and fuse glass rods and tubing. “Scientific glassblowing is a vital skill for chemists. To facilitate research projects, glassware often needs to be modified, repaired or constructed from scratch,” Dr. Harakas indicated. Dr. Harakas’ renewed interest in glassblowing arose after joining the faculty at Radford University in the fall of 2015. “Before teaching at Radford University I worked in industry and taught at a vocational school. Joining the RU Chemistry department reminded me of how important scientific glassblowing skills are and how they are seldom taught to undergraduate students. I decided to teach those skills to our students,” Dr. Harakas stated. In the summer of 2017 Dr. Harakas attended a weeklong workshop on scientific glassblowing techniques hosted by Salem Community College (SCC). “I learned some aspects of glassblowing during my graduate research but not in a formal manner. While attending the workshop at SCC I was able to improve the skills that I previously possessed, while also learning many additional glassblowing techniques. My desire is to give our students an opportunity to learn these glassblowing techniques.” said Dr. Harakas about the experience.


Dec 11, 2017
Department of Chemistry