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2010 spring

This site contains information for the Fall 2009 semester's class participants.  Other pages (the links in the blue banner at the top) contain information about past semesters, our studio, and links to other glass resources.

This class will include of survey of glass working techniques and history as well as develop the skills required to plan, articulate, and execute designs. We will explore the changing dialogues that exist between traditional craft mediums and contemporary art through the practice of manipulating glass, drawing, and writing. You will be expected to keep a sketchbook/journal that reflects your experiences in and out of the class in regard to your creative pursuits.

class schedule

Monday Jan 25

First class. Equipment operation/ studio procedures and protocol/ Safety/ Open forum.

Wednesday Jan 27

Getting to know the studio/ moving around with glass / charging schedule and blow slot times.

Assignment (due in class Monday Feb 8):

  • 1st-years: Get comfortable/practice gathering (up to two gathers); experiment with the material moving toward sculpting something that you use everyday. Keep all of your mistakes for review.
  • Intermediates: A set of 4 clear glasses of equal size 6” high.

Thursday January 28 - blow slots begin


Monday February 1

In class gathering exercises/collaborative sculpture.

Wednesday February 3

A focus on the first steps of the blowing process/ blow and cap/ fine points of blocking and marvering

Monday February 8 - Punties Punties Punties

First asignment due (from Jan 28).

We will demonstrate several types of punties and review techniques and situations that require something beyond the norm.

Wednesday February 10 - slide talk

Meet in class then move to Fine Arts office upstairs.

Assignment (due March 1): create a tool out of glass that solves some sort of daily dilemma. You will be responsible for explaining how creating this object from glass is relevant to its overall function. (no paperweights!)

Monday February 15

An introduction to basic blown and solid forms/ developing an efficient and consistent method for getting to basic shapes.

Wednesday February 17

Visiting Artist Jaime Gurrero.

[skull+hand] [hand] [skull]

Wednesday February 24

In a continuation from the previous class we will expand our consideration of basic shape making into recognizing basic shapes as the starting place for more complex forms.

Monday March 1 - crit day

Tool assignment due (from Feb 10).

The goblet as an examination of techniques that solve non-goblet making problems. (In-class exercises.)

Wednesday March 3

An overview of color application. We will get deep into the challenges of introducing color as well as discuss in depth the safe usage of powders and frit. (in class bit bringing exercise) Bring respirators.

[Krista]Monday March 8, Tuesday March 7, Wednesday March 10

Visiting artist Krista Sulfaro (right).

Some videos of assembling the robot she made.

Monday March 15

We will continue our conversation about color, moving into texture. On the list of topics will be shards, cracking powdered surfaces, cane, and murini.

[Nate] [Nate] [Nate]
[Nate] [Nate] [Nate]

Wednesday March 17

We will introduce the use of the pastorali as a tool for manipulating cane, but also as a means for sculpture building.

Monday March 22

An introduction to basic mold making.

Wednesday March 24 - studio cleanup

Attendance mandatory!

March 29 - no class (spring break)

Campus closed until Saturday April 3.

Monday April 5

Breaking into groups during class you will develop proposals for projects that include multiples. By "multiple", I mean some form, shape, or component that is repeated again and again accumulating mass as well as meaning through repetition. It would be best if you came to class with ideas and sketches. This will be a collaborative process.

Wednesday April 7

Further developing the collaborations into an actual plan with a strategy for completing the project. As a class we will test and prototype those projects that are ready to move forward, identifying the technical challenges and how to best utilize a team in the process.

Monday April 12

Proposals for your final projects due.

In class: An introduction to basic mold-making for glass.

Wednesday April 14

Using the kilns and the garage to assemble complex works (a group project in class).

Monday April 19 - crit day

Collaborative projects due.

Wednesday April 21

The Goblet.

Monday April 26


Wednesday April 28

The class will collaborate on a project developed by an outside non-glass artist. (TBA)

Monday May 3 - no class


Wednesday May 5

We will review the week’s out-put in class as usual, but this class will be reserved specifically for translating those issues directly into demonstrations. We can solve lots of problems in this type of forum so please bring your failures and successes to this class.

Monday May 10

In-class quiz.

Wednesday May 12 - last class

Critique day. Studio clean-up and pack up for the break.

Barbeque - date TBA

class policies

Materials fee

There is a $262 materials/lab fee payable to the bursar's office and confirmed by a stamped form given to the instructor by 15 Feb 2010. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of blow slots.


You get 2 unexcused absences during the semester. If you let me know what's going on I can excuse the absence and you won't get your third unexcused absence that will result in lowering your grade. Your main responsibility is to your blow slot and to your partner: failure to show up to and notify your partner of your absence will result in a loss of studio privileges. You should always give as much notice as possible if you can't make your blow slot.


Your grade will be determined by:

4 projects50%
contribution to the class35%

Glass Blowing (ART 547)

A class from San Francisco State University College of Extended Learning.

Instructor: Nate Watson

This course is for all levels. Emphasis is on the creation of sculptural artwork through explorations in molten glass. Technique and aesthetics will be taught.

Class dates: Jan 25 - Mar 24 and Apr 5 - May 19, 2010. 6:30-9:30pm Mon+Wed

No classes: Mar 29, 31(spring break), May 3

Studio closed: Feb 19, 22, Mar 29-Apr 2 (spring break, Cesar Chavez Day)

Glass sales: Feb 10+11, ??