Clear Genius: Scientific Glassblower Kiva Ford Featured in Notre Dame Magazine

Author: Kerry Temple

Kiva Ford Nd Magazine

β€œThe process is magical,” says Kiva Ford, who makes a living converting silica into liquid and then into exquisitely crafted glass forms β€” some pragmatically useful, and others valued for their artistic quality and on exhibit in museums and galleries.

Professionally, the 43-year-old glassblower fashions the exactingly precise, demandingly functional and elegantly designed glassware required in labs throughout campus. Working with researchers performing many, diverse investigations, he builds to order β€” based on need, conversations, visions, explanations, diagrams sketched onto a whiteboard, trial and error, and his own keen eye and profuse skills.

In his workshop in a first-floor corner of the Radiation Laboratory, Ford does what he dreamed of doing as a boy: he makes a living making things.

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