Glassblowing Facility

glassblower using a blowtorch to soften glass

Housed in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Glassblowing Facility offers professional glassblowing services to faculty and other researchers at The University of Alabama.

The shop is managed by Rick Smith, a laboratory glassblower with more than 45 years of experience. Smith specializes in the custom design, fabrication, and repair of scientific glassware. He does not produce standard catalog items like test tubes and beakers, but he routinely modifies such items for research.

Smith will also repair basic laboratory glassware provided it is worth saving and has been cleaned prior to submission.


The shop is fully equipped with lathes, saws, torches, and a variety of other instruments. To reduce production time, some glass parts and tubing are kept in stock; more specialized items may be ordered or created in-house.


In addition to research support, Smith occasionally offers interim courses in scientific glassblowing, CH 410 (undergraduate) and CH 510 (graduate). Detailed course descriptions are available in the UA Catalog.


For more information or to initiate a project, contact Rick Smith, Glassblowing Facility Manager, at (205) 348-5545 or The facility is located in 1053 Shelby Hall.