Save SFSU glass!

Please help keep SF State's glass program alive!

SFSU Art Department administrators have announced their intention to shut down the SFSU College of Extended Learning’s glass program.

This is the third-oldest glass program in the nation. It has provided an unmatched learning opportunity for hundreds of SFSU students since 1972. Cutting it would be a horrible loss to students and to the community that believes learning comes in all forms.

    • Why? It's not enrollment. It's not budget cuts. Instead, the Art department just decided to “complete an action [they] initiated 11 years ago”, ignoring the last decade of its history.
    • The broader California art community has made it clear this is a vital and singular glass program, and that it needs to remain intact.

How to help

1. Sign our online petition.

3. Contact the University President:

Dr. Les Wong

Office of the President, San Francisco State University,

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132

(415) 338-1381,

Fun facts and related articles

Glassblowing is the third entry in the Art Department "frequently asked questions"!

Thanks to everybody who came to our Rally in Malcolm X plaza, in front of the Cesar Chavez Student Union​ on the SFSU campus​​ on Wed 18 Sept​​!

Recent articles:

  1. Drive seeks to save SF State glassblowing course, Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Sept 2013.
  2. Breaking of the glass, Kim Schwarcz, Letter to the SF Chronicle, 20 Sept 2013.
    1. Glassblowing is a virtue, Susan Longini, Letter to the SF Chronicle, 21 Sept 2013.
    2. San Francisco State glass blowing class falls victim to budget axe. Channel 5 news, 18 Sept 2013.

Some related articles:

  1. Final statements: John Leighton, SFSUmag 3(2), Spring/Summer 2003.
    1. A Trip to the SFSU Glass Class, Ryan Saunders (Senior, Dept. of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) major at SFSU), March 2012:"The most interesting place on campus that most people don't know about is the glass blowing room in the fine arts building."
    2. From Ingrid Hanson's Etsy profile, January 2012: "I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I met my husband Ken Hanson in a glass blowing glass at SFSU in 1994. We have been blowing glass together ever since then."
    3. Wired Magazine, April 2013. "At Google, John Wilkes is building a software system that will drive tens of thousands of machines, orchestrating a worldwide network of data centers. But on Saturday afternoons, he blows glass [at SFSU].

Why the closure?

Here's what the Art Department said.

From: Gail Dawson

To: Nate Watson

Dear Nate,

Thanks for your email. I'm sorry I didn't make it clear in my previous email why the CEL glass course is being discontinued.

My previous email was the official word to you as the lecturer teaching the course that it will not be offered after Fall 2013. The college dean addresses the course cancellation with Robert Martin in CEL.

The Glass class is being discontinued for the following reasons, which I discussed with you in part in our meeting August 1:

      • Faculty own the curriculum and in 2002, the Art faculty voted to eliminate glass and small metals from the curriculum.
      • The prefix for the class is "Art," but the glass course is not part of our curriculum and hasn't been for 11 years.
      • Our matriculated students do not take the course.
      • Despite your making the course self-funded in its day to day operations, Hot Glass remains costly in terms of the physical space it takes up in the department and the energy resources it consumes.

I am acting on behalf of the faculty, the college and the university to complete an action initiated 11 years ago

I respect you, your skills and resourcefulness, and your dedication and service to the glass community.

As you may know I am currently on leave. If you have any further comments, questions or concerns, please direct them to Paul Mullins who is Interim Chair for Fall 2013.

I wish you all the best.