Qualified: UKZN glassblower recognised by elite british group

2009-12-16 00:00

A RIGOROUS three-year training programme and spending extended periods of time overseas has finally paid off for a University of KwaZulu-Natal glassblower who recently achieved his City and Guilds qualification from the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers (BSSG).

According to the university, Clarence Mortlock, who is based in the School of Chemistry at their Pietermaritzburg campus, joins only a handful of qualified glassblowers in the country, but is the only person in South Africa to hold scientific glassblowing qualifications from this elite British- based organisation.

The course encompassed practical and written assessments, including six examinations.

But Dr Murray Low, the deputy head at the School of Chemistry, said Mortlock was always well ahead of his game.

This is supported by the fact that he managed to finish his studies in two-and-a-half years, which, according to Low, is a tribute to his dedication and work ethic.

Scientific glassblowing is an art that dates back to the first century BC, but Mortlock said it is becoming a dwindling specialised skill both in the industry and university sectors, not only in South Africa, but the world over.

He first joined the university four years ago, though he had 14 years’ experience under his belt.

He was helped by the persistence of some university leaders who recognised his potential and fought for him to get the University Leadership and Equity Advancement Programme usually reserved for academic staff.

Through the mentorship he received from the in-house scientific blower Paul Forder, Mortlock was afforded the opportunity to attend a month’s training in Holland, which prepared him for the BSSG qualifications.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.