Why Modern Science Still Needs Traditional Glass Blowing

Christine Roeger is someone who grew up blowing glass bubbles while other kids were blowing soap bubbles. The bubbles would shimmer as they expanded and got bigger until they popped. Once they popped, light tissues of glass would float to the ground. For Christine, this was a typical childhood as her father was a scientific glassblower.

Why Modern Science Still Needs Traditional Glass Blowing

Mowing Forward With the Glass Blowing Tradition

She followed in both her father and her grandfather’s footsteps to become a scientific glassblower. On a daily basis, you can find her heating and shaping glass to form custom scientific instruments.

There are differences when it comes to the glassblowing industry her grandfather was in and the industry now. In modern days, glassblowers still learn on the job, but now, there are new techniques involved and research that is needed to design.

Roeger says that for her to make her glass creations, the glass tubes have to be heated over a flame, which is usually at 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Once they are heated, she can make almost anything. The items range from chambers for holding various items to massive glass instruments.

Glass Blowing is More Than an Artform

Aside from learning firsthand how to shape glass, Roeger also had to take chemistry courses. If she didn’t have a background in chemistry, she would not have had an idea of what her clients were talking about when it came to their custom needs.

Why Modern Science Still Needs Traditional Glass Blowing

Roeger teaches graduate students and works with them to design custom instruments for them to use for their projects. Without her there, they would order custom pieces from distant shops that would possibly take weeks for them to arrive.

With her there, it allows the university to innovate as they are able to fail and make mistakes without worrying about too much downtime.

Glass is continuously playing a large and important role in our modern lives which is why the art of traditional glassblowing isn’t going anywhere.