The art of glassblowing

Heather Scarlett

VIEW photos of Maurer at work.

Fixing broken glass pieces for the Chemistry students of Williams Hall is a specialized job which is filled by Larry Maurer.

On a daily basis, Larry Maurer, can be found working at his bench torch handling hot liquefied glass. He does this by using a variety of different heating torches, oxygen machines, a cutoff water saw and even his own breath.

“Scientific glass blowing is essentially the same thing as (normal) glass blowing, but just on a smaller scale,” he said.

Maurer is the scientific glass blower for the Kent State Chemistry department he repairs and builds specialized pieces of glass tubing and beakers.

If somebody breaks a glass piece that has a complex compound in it that they’ve been working for months he can be to fix it within the same day, Maurer said.

“It is quicker than ordering the piece and having to wait,” he said.

Maurer explained having him on staff to fix or make a special glass piece for students and professors is cheaper than “ordering it from a catalog.”

“I can make it for about half the price,” he explained.

Maurer said he believes scientific glass blowing is part art and part creative.

It is “the perfect job for an old hippie” like him, Maurer said.

– Heather Scarlett