Aims of the Society


The Society was founded in 1960 for the benefit of those engaged in Scientific Glassblowing and its associated professions and to uphold and further the status of Scientific Glassblowers.To hold meetings, present papers and generally to encourage and promote higher standards of skill and technical knowledge of glass and related instruments and apparatus.

The formulation and implementation of Training Syllabi, as well as standards, are defined by the Society and it provides examiners, certificates and Annual awards.
An Annual Symposium is held in one of the various Society Sections on a rotational basis, thus providing a change of venue. Awards are made, papers presented, trade exhibitors and visitors are welcome.
A close liaison is maintained with other Scientific Glassblowing Societies throughout the world.

Training schedules, tutors and examiners for short duration courses outside the UK can be recommended, upon request to the Hon Sec, to whom all enquiries should be made.

The Society is divided geographically in Sections as follows:

  •  Scottish
  • North East
  •  West
  • Midland
  • Western
  • East Anglia
  • Southern
  • Thames Valley
  • Overseas


The controlling body of the Society is Council, consisting of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and 2 delegates from each Section. The Journal Editor is an ex officio member.


The Society is proud to include members from all branches of Science and Industry and from many countries. The grades of membership are as follows:

Associate (ABSSG): A person who is not a Scientific Glassblower but is interested in the aims and objectives of the Society.

Certificated Glassblower: Is a person who has passed the Certificate of Competence or other examinations as decided by Council.

Corporate Membership. is the category tailored for academic, commercial and industrial organisations with directors/employees/partners who also qualify for membership as hereinafter provided. The membership is assigned to the Corporate entity who nominates qualifying individuals on the following scale:

0 to 2 qualifying individuals — Not eligible
Up to 4  —   discount as set by Council.
Up to 6  —   discount  as set by Council.
Up to 10   —   discount as   set by Council.
Up to 15    —   discount as  set by Council.
6 plus   —   discount as  as set by Council.

All nominated individuals must qualify for Society membership. Such persons enjoy all of the duties, rights and privileges of the Society as defined by these rules.

Master (MBSSG): A Master Glassblower is a Member who has passed the relevant examination and has satisfied the Board of Examiners as to their fitness to be entered on the role of Master Glassblowers and shall be entitled to use the appropriate style after their name.

Member: A Member is a person who has been employed for a minimum period of five consecutive years as a Scientific Glassblower, and shall have been duly elected as hereinafter provided.

Honorary: An Honorary Member: It is the sole prerogative of Council to make such an appointment.

Student: A Student Member is a person who, at the moment of application, has been receiving instruction in scientific glassblowing for a period of less than five years, and shall have been duly elected as hereinafter provided.

Retired Member: A Member who has reached the age of retirement but wishes to continue contact with the Society.

Overseas Member: An Overseas Member is a person who, whilst fulfilling the requirements for membership, is resident outside the British Isles.


A quarterly Journal is published by the Society. Articles, papers, abstracts and Section as well as Overseas news is included and advertisements welcomed. The Journal is free to members but copies are available to non-members. A Subject Index covering all of the Journals is available from the Society Office.


The Society provides a library service for members for the loan of books, videos, films and technical journals. A current list of titles available for laon can be obtained form the Society Office or by accessing the Society website.


The BoE, is responsible to Council, for the compilation of courses and the setting and conducting of examinations.
Contact the Society Office for further details of all exams, competitions and courses.

A member with 5 years experience is elected to the Board by virtue of their practical and technical experience. Two members are so elected by each Section.

At the Annual Symposium, awards for the following competitions are made:

A D Wood Cup ( with replica and £50 prize). Open to the student with less than 3 years glassblowing experience.

Barloworld Scientific Cup ( with replica and £100 prize ) Open to the any BSSG member. Free choice of entry of any type of scientific glassware made by candidate. No restriction on method, tools or machinery used.

Hampshire Trophy ( with cash prize ) Entry available to any member with up to seven years experience in scientific glassblowing. Entry piece to be a free choice of the candidate, and a test piece would be set by the B.O.E. relevant to the candidate’s area of glassworking.

Norman Collins Memorial Award to the member whose entry of Scientific glass apparatus is considered by the Board of Examiners to be the most outstanding example of craftsmanship.

TSL Trophy Open to any member for a piece of scientific apparatus in fused silica.

QVF Trophy To reward technical innovation advances in the skills of scientific glassworking, the QVF Trophy will be judged by all members of the Society attending the Annual Symposium.

Other Annual Awards

The David Flack Memorial Award to the member who submits the most artistic glassware.

Thames Valley Award to a member for outstanding contributions to their profession or to the Society’s interests.

Literary Prize Lucy Oldfield Cup for the adjudged best written contribution to the Journal.

Corning Cup awarded to a member of the Society for innovative ideas.

 Posted by at 6:01 pm