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From Glass Blowing to Glass Beakers

Glass blowing

By Shawna Bannerman

Emily Devereux
Supplied photo.

A new student at NAIT is making a shift from the creative field of blowing glass to the science industry, taking the Chemical Technology program.

“A comment that keeps being made when I tell people that I’m in Chem Tech is: ‘that’s very different than glass blowing.’ But I’ve actually found there’s more overlap than you would think. It’s cool to be learning about the chemistry behind all the things I see in glass blowing,” said Emily Devereux

Devereux began post-secondary studies in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at ACAD in Calgary. After the first year, she returned to Edmonton to complete the Digital Illustration and Sequential Arts program at Edmonton Digital Arts College, with the intention of becoming a concept artist for video games and films, then she was introduced to glass blowing.

“I ended up getting an apprenticeship in glass blowing, which I also fell in love with,” said Devereux.

She was hired at a local glass blowing studio and began her own business on the side creating sculptures and selling them online and in local stores.

Glass blowing
Supplied photo.

“After 5 years of glass blowing, it was great, it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it, but I was sort of ready to move on and learn something new,” said Devereux.

Devereux chose the Chemical Technology program at NAIT because of its small class sizes, fast pace, and proximity to home.

“Chemical Technology fit a lot of things that I was looking for,” said Devereux. “It’s very hands on, you get to work with a small group of people and you can work in lots of different industries so it’s very likely that I can find a job in Edmonton still.”

She hopes to get a career in environmental testing or research once graduating from the program.

“[Those] are the two things I’m most interested in now, but we’ll see how it goes as I go through the program and see what I find interesting in practice,” said Devereux. “It’s fun to be here and stretch my brain in different ways.”

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