Development of the art of glassblowing in Ghana: Prospects and challenges of selected glassblowing units.

Thumbnail Image
September, 2009.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The objectives of this study are to identify the existing operational glassblowing units in the country; to investigate and document their tools, materials, equipment and methods which are used by these glassblowing units; assess their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the glassblowing units. The multiple case study approach was adapted for the study. The target population was 175. The accessible population was 153. The purposive sampling method was used to sample 153 respondents which constituted 87.4% of the targeted population. Questionnaire, interview schedule and observation guide were the main instruments used. The study identified only three operational glassblowing units in the entire country namely, Glassblowing Unit - Industrial Research Division (CSIR) Accra; Glassblowing Unit - University of Cape Coast (UCC) Cape Coast and Glassblowing Unit - Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi. The tools, materials and equipment used by the glassblowing units are of standardised quality however, the purchase of annealing oven and calibration machines would be an added advantage. The evaluation of the units revealed the strengths of the units as; good infrastructure, competent personnel, quality products and services, among others. The weaknesses exposed included; low publicity, low patronage, poor aesthetic finishing, etc. The opportunities also included; the abundance of local raw materials for glass blowing, total monopoly enjoyed by the glass industry in Ghana, the potential to diversify the glass industry in the country by introducing glass etching, glass incising, etc into their production techniques. Threats identified were aging personnel, high cost of training personnel, unfavourable institutional administrative impart and lack of awareness about the prospects of glass blowing in the country. It was concluded that the units have some enviable strengths that has to be consolidated and improved by taking advantage of latent potentials and resources. Equally the units have weaknesses if not addressed could lead to the units being totally extinct in the country.
A thesis submitted to the school of graduate studies, KNUST in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy in African Art and Culture on