Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Great story on scientific glassblowing

Cool story from Verge Science:
“One of the things we’re facing right now is the knowledge void between newer glassblowers and the older glassblowers,” Russell says. It can take years, if not decades, to master glassblowing techniques and to master the equipment that they use. That’s true in academia (some of the lathes Roeger uses are from the 1980s) and in industry where many other scientific glassblowing graduates go. 
“In some ways, it’s scary, because for a few years, when I was a student, it was really really really hard to get a job, because all the positions in production facilities, and in universities, and in national labs were all filled with people with years and years of seniority,” says Katie Severance, an alumna of Salem. Severance is now a foreman at a glass production company called AGI near Philadelphia, and he teaches at Salem... 
...Now that those people with so much seniority are retiring, it’s causing a seismic shift in the industry. “In the past five years we’re seeing an emergence of places realizing this and really lighting a fire under their ass, if you will, to get new fresh blood in there to get trained,” Severance says. It takes years of training for a scientific glassblower to really learn the ropes, so as people retire, there’s an increased demand for new apprentices...
It's interesting that every occupation has its boom and bust cycle... 

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