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The American Scientific Glassblowers Society (ASGS) has been teaching and sharing information on scientific glassblowing since 1952. Last year, the ASGS partnered with Glasscraft to bring the educational videos created by members of the ASGS to the public. These videos are made each year at the ASGS Symposium by members as demonstrations of techniques or tips for their fellow glassblowers. The goal of the ASGS is education, something that Mike Souza, scientific glassblower at Princeton University and the Director of the Northeast Section of the ASGS section, takes seriously. Souza runs the American Scientific Glassblower Society Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ASGSGlass?fref=ts), where he shares posts and articles of interest to scientific blowers. Souza also posts many tutorial videos, some are his own videos showing tips and techniques while other videos are contributions of Kevin Teaford who works at University of Utah andis the lead instructor for the ASGS Allan Brown Workshop Seminars.

Souza claims that Dave Winship, Glasscraft’s president deserves the credit for the partnership. According to Souza, “He pointed out the synergy between the ASGS and the functional flameworkers long ago and how the ASGS could be relevant to this emerging field of young flameworkers. I took it to heart and began reaching out in Social Media on Facebook. I think Dave saw the effort and pursued this idea of the videos. But Dave really was one of the reasons I began the ASGS Facebook site.”  Souza puts stock in that synergy between scientific and artistic/functional  flameworkers. He believes the biggest difference between the scientific flameworkers and the functional flameworkers is how they came by their skills. Many scientific glassblowers learned on the job where they were taught by coworkers to work efficiently with both time and material. While this allowed for good skill development, the creativity is often stifled. Many of the artistic/functional flameworkers learned by intuition, figuring it out along the way. That ingenuity often resulted in clever ideas and new techniques, but sometimes the skills acquired were not the most efficient. Each group has something to offer the other, that’s why Glasscraft and the ASGS are working together.cv

“For both sides, this wasn’t about money, this was more about the ASGS legacy and creating a sort of knowledge bridge for the average flameworker trying to eek out a living doing something they love just as equally as any of us who toil behind a torch,” says Souza.  The old saying goes, “A rising tide raises all boats” and that seems to be the belief of both the ASGS and Glasscraft.


Watch any single video for $5, or access the entire online collection for $30 at http://www.glasscraftinc.com/home/gla/smartlist_1922/glass-blowing-videos.html


Want more info on the ASGS? Visit them at http://asgs-glass.org/mo/index.php/homepage

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