Glass and bees

22 June 2015

Glass and bees

This week in the run-up to the Festival of Stuff we asked UCL Chemistry’s glassblower John Cowley to come over and test our lamp working setup. He made us this beautiful hollow glass honey spoon.













Over in his specialist workshop he makes and repairs custom scientific glassware using borosilicate glass tubes for the department. UCL is one of the few Universities that still has a glassblower on staff. John features in this great video presented by chemist Andrea Sella about glassblowing and Didymium Glass - the type of material lampworking safety specs are made of.

John is also a beekeeper, and is in charge of the hives at Queen Mary University. The honey is delicious and fragrant as the bees feed on all the flowers planted at the Olympic Park.

The University of London also has hives closer to us - find out about beekeeping in Bloomsbury.

Glass artist Shelley James then came in to teach our members and public masterclass guests how to make a glass whistle! Lampworking techniques are usually used to make beads, but we thought we’d get our makers started on something else, there are so many creative possibilities with borosilicate glass and a hot torch. These beautiful twisty whistles are the result.