Glassblowing laboratory on campus offers equipment for scientific—and artistic innovations
Scientific Glassblowing Laboratory
True innovation requires creative thinking—and often creative equipment as well. The UMass Amherst Scientific Glassblowing Laboratory creates such equipment, allowing researchers in the College of Natural Sciences more flexibility as they design experiments.
Run by Sally Prasch, who has more than 40 years of experience as a laboratory glassblower, the lab works with researchers to custom design, fabricate, modify, and repair specialty scientific glass instruments that can’t be found in a catalog. The instruments created here can even be tried out and then brought back to be modified as needed. “We adjust it and have it done for them in a day, and they can keep going,” says Prasch.
Prasch is excited about having in-person classes in the lab again this semester. In addition, she says, “We’re trying to promote glass on campus, not just in science, but also the arts.” To that end, the lab has partnered with the Hampden Gallery to install a show called Formed with Silica, open through the end of December.
Read more about the lab and its importance to campus researchers.
View a segment from Connecting Point showcasing the lab: