What Is the Difference Between Glassblowing Schools With a Science or Art Focus?


Quick Answer

Schools teaching glassblowing with a science focus teach students techniques needed to make glass products, such as pipes, flanges and semiconductor glassware, for scientific laboratory and research use; schools teaching glassblowing with an art focus prepare graduates to make pieces for artistic display rather than for industry use. Some schools offer programs that teach students skills for both artistic and scientific glassmaking.

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Students can study glassblowing through single courses, workshops or degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Scientific glassblowing programs are much less common than artistic programs, as noted by The Scientific Glassblowing Learning Center. Salem Community College, for example, is the only school with an associate's degree program in the field, while Alfred University has the only graduate program, as of 2015. Some other schools to offer scientific glassblowing training include Arizona State University, Yale University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Alabama.

Salem State University offers an undergraduate program with a focus on artistic glassworks. Students studying glassblowing get to create projects in a studio using equipment such as ovens, burners and torches. Admission to the program requires the submission of photos of glassworks and a plan discussing what the student intends to accomplish during the residency component of the program.

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