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2012 spring

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

  • February 15: Evan Kolker
  • March 26-29 Katherine Grey and Nedege Desgenetez

blow-slot schedule

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

class schedule

Monday January 23 First class.  Introductions: equipment operation, studio procedures and protocol, safety and cold-working demo.

Wednesday January 25 In class exercises. Choosing Blow Slots.

Monday January 30 (optional) Back to basics!!! Gathering, blocking, marvering, bubble starting. (Please take careful notes)

1st assignment: "The Replica". Create four clear objects using whatever methods you like. Two of the objects must be representative of a natural form and two objects must replicate something that is manufactured. You may not choose as your subject, something that exist in the world as glass. Consider the details carefully.

Wednesday February 1 Your first 5 moves. How you begin the process of working with glass has much to do with the result you get. We'll discuss planning out your work focusing on the first few steps of the process.

Monday February 6 First 5 moves cont'd. Forming the shapes from which all things are made.

Wednesday February 8 1st assignment due in class: "The replica".  Pulling, stretching, twisting, wrapping. We will examine ways of manipulating glass focusing on heat. Both technical and sculptural applications will be addressed.

Monday February 13 Pulling cane as a building material.

Wednesday February 15 Visiting Artist Evan Kolker.

Monday February 20 Visiting Artist - review.

Wedndesday February 22 Introducing color (bar, frit, powder).

Monday February 27 Color cont'd: layering, optic molds, foil, wire inclusions. 2nd assignment: 10 designs for utilitarian glass objects.

Wednesday February 29 Utility bowls, jars, lids, and handles, and spouts. 2nd assignment due: 10 utilitarian designs.

Monday March 5 Continued investigation into design and technique.

Wednesday March 7 Disecting the goblet into useful parts. The Goblet cont'd (proper cup making, stem design, and blown feet).

Monday March 12 Taking the technique, but leaving the goblet behind ...

Wednesday March 14 Mandatory clean up party. (Last blow slot before the break on Sunday.)

March 19-24 School Closed for Spring Break.

March 26-29 Visiting artists: Katherine Grey and Nedege Desgenetez (some blow slots during this week may be used for demonstrations).

Friday March 30 School closed for Ceasar Chavez Day.

Monday April 2 Class resumes.

  • A proposal for you final project due in class.
  • Problem solving/open forum for discussing issues and working them out in the studio through trial and error (a group exercise).

Wednesday April 4 Unorthodox glass working techniques (tools you cannot buy).

Monday April 9 Solid working 101.

Wednesday April 11 Sculpture demo.

Monday April 16 Showing and displaying work. How to properly finish a glass project.

Wednesday April 18 Designing and problem solving sculptural designs.

Monday April 23 Multiple part vessels.

Wednesday April 25 Incalmo.

Monday May 30 Murini.

Wednesday May 2 Murini cont'd.

Monday May 9 Last Class: Final Critique in classPhotos from Jim Wiltschko.

Sunday May 13 Last blowing day

Sunday May 13 barbeque at Mike's.

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.


4 missed classes lowers you one letter grade. The same will occur for each additional class missed. Your main responsibility is to your blow slot and to your partner, but missing class will compromise the cohesiveness of the class. Missing your blow slot without reasonable notice equates to missing class.

Let your partner know as soon as possible if you can't make your blow slot, and ask them how they want to handle this - some like to select an alternate partner themselves, some will want you to help them find one.


Participation = weekly crits + attendance
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 Jan 23 - May 16, 2012, except for Mar 19, 21, 30.

Class times  6:30-9:30pm Mon+Wed 

Studio closed (no blow slots) roughly  Mar 19-24, Mar 30.

Glass sales: TBD. Sale inventory

john wilkes,
Feb 9, 2012, 1:12 AM
john wilkes,
Feb 9, 2012, 1:16 AM
john wilkes,
May 4, 2012, 5:55 PM