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2011 fall

Welcome to the SFSU glass program web presence.  This page describes the current semester.  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 course is for all levels. Emphasis is on the creation of sculptural artwork through explorations in molten glass. Technique and aesthetics will be taught. Students will have their own practice time outside of class. Course may be repeated for a total of 9 units.

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.

visiting artists this semester

  • Wednesday October 12 - Matthew Szosz, Executive Director, Public Glass
  • Monday October 24 - Sarah Gilbert, Visiting Ass't Professor, Reed College
  • Monday November 7 - Luca , Vice President, Effetto Glassworks

blow-slot schedule

Also available here for adding to your own calendar, and as a web page.

class schedule

Wed Aug 24 First class. Introductions, studio procedures and protocol, safety, equipment operation, discussion. 

Assignment #1: collect a minimum of 20 images that represent your interest in form, color, texture, scale, pattern, design and content.  Be prepared to discuss these images in class on Wed Aug 31.

Mon Aug 29 Blow slot assignments.  Specifics to gathering.  Group exercise.

Assignment #2:

  1. beginning: 5 2" diameter marbles and 5 3" marbles.
  2. advanced: 3 identical spheres, cylinders, and cones.  At least one of each should be blown at east one solid.  All 9 pieces should be of the the same size, with a max diameter of 6 inches.  (I.e., the diameter of sphere should equal the diameter and height of the cylinder and cones.)

Wed Aug 31 Presentations on what you like (assignment #1).  Back to basics (gathering, blocking, marvering and bubble starting) - please take careful notes.

Monday September 5 No class - Labor Day

Wednesday September 7 glass assignments due; Shapes demo; group project (the cup)

Monday September 12 Assignment for yourself for two weeks; collaborative project; video

Wednesday September 15 Bits bits bits

Monday September 19 Review student work; Review bit work + applications; Sale planning meeting

Wednesday September 21 "The continuing saga of the sphere and the marver"; solid foot, to overlay, to bowl; color demonstrations

Monday September 25 Sculpture demo / assemblage

Wednesday September 27 Crit Day (self assignments due in class)

Monday October 3 Optic mold, building vessels

Wednesday October 5 In class optic mold practice/ vessel assembly

Monday October 10 un-orthodox methods slides

Wednesday October 12 Visiting artist: Matthew Szosz

Monday October 17 Visiting artist review

Wednesday October 19 Midterm exam in class

Monday October 24 Visiting artist: Sarah Gilbert

October 24-27: sale

Wednesday October 26 Visiting artist review

Monday October 31 Problem solving day

Wednesday November 2 ornament making party

Monday November 7 Visiting artist: Luca Ratazzi

Wednesday November 9 Visiting artist review

Friday November 11 Veterans Day: no class, no blow slots

Monday November 14 In-class production [class cancelled, due to lack of glass]

November 14-16: sale

Wednesday November 16 Extended view of cane working

Mon-Wed November 21-23 No Class, campus open

Thur-Sat November 24-26 campus closed, no blow slots

Monday November 28 Cane and Murini cont’d

November 28-December 9 Ornament sale

Wednesday November 30 The constructed vessel (incalmo)

Monday December 5 TBA

Wednesday December 7 In Class Exam

Monday December 12 Last Class: final critique

TBD: Mike's barbequeue.

class policies

Materials fee

There is a $295 materials/lab fee payable to the bursar's office and confirmed by a stamped form given to the instructor. 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:

Participation/attendance 60%
Midterm critique 20%
Final critique 20%

images and videos

Glass Blowing
ART 547

A class from San Francisco State University College of Extended Learning

Instructor Nate Watson 

Class dates Aug 24 - Dec 14, 2011, except for Sep 5, Nov 21+23

Class times  6:30-9:30pm Mon+Wed 

Studio closed (no blow slots) Nov 11, 24, 25, 26

Glass sales: Oct 24-27, Nov 14-16, 28-29 and Dec 5-9. Sale inventory

john wilkes,
Oct 27, 2011, 1:22 AM
john wilkes,
Nov 14, 2011, 3:07 PM
john wilkes,
Nov 29, 2011, 7:58 PM