TMW Book Reviews

Reflections of a Glass Maker

by Alan Slavich

Imagine a world without the industrial sector. Do you think we’d be living as we are today? They provide us with the materials to make everything we need, saving us the time and effort of personally making everything from scratch. Through processed woods, cement, usable steel, and most essentially, glass, we can build the physical environments, both rural and urban, that we see today. While their importance can’t be emphasized enough, it’s easy to forget the amount of work that goes into producing these things.

Written with an immense passion for the industry, Reflections of a Glass Maker by Alan Slavich is an autobiography designed to tell his story as a glassmaker throughout his 55 years in the service. From his earlier days in college to the serendipitous decisions that led him to the glass-making industry, Alan, now in his 80s, was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. He finished his degree in ceramic engineering in May of 1963. Not knowing what was ahead of him, he ventured out into the industrial wilderness with his chin up.

Fortunately for him, there were companies that did require engineers’ services to help with glass processing.

The book uses a highly informative approach to share what life was like for the author while working. With a sprinkle of humor and a handful of facts, the time he spent with his coworkers and the issues they ran into was crucial in bringing the book to life. In addition, the technical processes of how glass is being made over the centuries have been embodied in this book with supporting imagery that justifies each explanation of the operations. This is an excellent read that will educate and inspire you to new heights.

What’s also fascinating about this, though, is how the author continually excels in his career for the entire fifty-five years he spent working in the glass industry. While remaining loyal and faithful to his profession, he did an excellent job structuring things the way they are in his writings. Making glass is a labor-intensive process that has seen many improvements throughout the years. To highlight this, the book starts with the earliest type of glass making and works its way up to the most recent technology available today.

– The Moving Words Review

Official entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2022


About the Author

During Alan’s career, he received two patents for methods that improved the quality of Low E glass coating production. Being retired, he now has time to pursue other passions such as golf, bowling, oil painting, leisure travel, and writing this book. He wants this book to preserve some of the histories of glassmaking that would otherwise be lost.