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2013 fall

This was the last semester of glassblowing at SFSU. See this page for more information.

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.

The objective for this class will be to demystify glass as a material of function, and to find ways to convey meaning through the visual distinctness of glass. The idea that only very skilled practitioners can express ideas through glass is a myth. Meaningful expressions require time, consideration, and some sense of what's possible.

visiting artists this semester

  • Sep 25: Pamina Traylor
  • Oct 28: Danny White
  • Nov 6: Guido Gerlitz
  • Dec 2: Kait Rhodes

blow-slot schedule

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

class schedule

Monday August 26 First class. Introductions: equipment operation, studio procedures and protocol, safety and cold-working demo; waiver forms.
Assignment #1: For Wednesday bring in 3 images of objects that you find inspiring & sketch 3 things that you would like to make in glass. (In-class discussion.)

Wednesday August 28 Blow slot assignments
Discuss sketches and images (receive part 2 of Assignment 1).
Short slide presentation: why is glass important?

Monday September 2 Labor Day (no class)

Wednesday September 4 Gathering 101. In class exercises and repetition. Attendance mandatory.

Monday September 9 Timing, temperature, and decisive actions.  Planning, Managing, and problem solving in the shop. (We will focus on moving efficiently toward desired forms and include an in-depth conversation about punties.)

Wednesday September 11 Special beginning level session

Monday September 16 In class exercises. Bit bringing and assisting Part I

Wednesday September 18 Advanced cup making A-Z (how to see the end in the beginning)

Monday September 23 By appointment

Wednesday September 25 Visiting Artist Pamina Traylor

Monday September 30 Bit bringing and assisting part II (handles and ??)

Wednesday October 2 Solid sculpting Part I

Monday October 7 By appointment

Wednesday October 9 By appointment

Monday October 14 Introducing color (bar, frit, powder, shards)

Wednesday October 16 Color continued: pulling and using cane.

Monday October 21 Special beginning level session: intro to production process.

Wednesday October 23 Special advanced level session: production.

Monday October 28 Visiting Artist (Danny White)

Wednesday October 30 By appointment

Monday November 4 The Goblet deconstructed

Wednesday November 6 Visiting Artist: Guido Gerlitz

Monday November 11 No class (Veterans Day)

Wednesday November 13 By appointment

Monday November 18 Multiple part vessels

Wednesday November 20 Studio clean up

Studio closed Nov.25-Dec. 1 for Fall Recess

Monday November 25 No Class (recess)

Wednesday November 27 No Class (recess)

Monday December 2 Visiting artist: Kait Rhodes

Wednesday December 4 By appointment
Sketchbooks due today.

Monday December 9 By appointment

Wednesday December 11 By appointment

Monday December 16 Final critique, last class

TBD Last blowing day

Sunday December 8 5:30pm+ class barbeque at Mike's place.

class policies

materials fee

There is a $298 materials/lab fee payable to the bursar's office and confirmed by a stamped form given to the instructor. (Nate will give you an orange slip that you must present to the Bursars office when you pay your lab fee. Your stamped slip will be your receipt and must be presented to him so that he can clear you from a list that he must turn in.) Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of blow slots.


Due to the number of hours required outside of class, you will not be responsible for coming to every class session. Please pay close attention to the syllabus and online correspondence for details and updates regarding scheduling, equipment, and assignments. The class format includes: class time, 2 blowslots/week (2 people per 3 hour session), and instructional appointments that you'll make with the instructor. We will maintain an online document that you will use to sign up for a session and indicate the topic for discussion that day.

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
Assignments 25%
Sketchbook 25%

images and videos

coming soon ...

emails to the class

You can see the emails below, or open the Google group itself.

Glass Blowing
ART 547

A class from San Francisco State University College of Extended Learning

Instructor Nate Watson 

Class dates Aug. 26-Dec. 16, except for Sept. 2, Nov. 11, 25 & 27.

Class times  6:30-9:30pm Mon+Wed 

Studio closed (no blow slots) Nov 25 -- Dec 1.

Glass sales: TBD. Sale inventory

email group  (and see below)
SFSU Glass Guild

john wilkes, webmaster