I just received word that the U. of Ca. San Diego Craft Center (since
1972), is closing for the 2012-2013 academic year, due to operating
budget and refurbishing costs. They estimate that needed refurbishing
will run $1.5 million, and the administration is uncertain about any
re-open date in the future.
The Craft Center, where I taught for 24 years, was a unique and
diverse craft facility in San Diego that offered non-credit jewelry,
neon, ceramics, welding, iron and aluminum casting, drawing,
painting, and hot glass programs. Its classes were open to both
students and the general public. Begun by artist Ron Carlson in the
early 70’s, it grew under his vision and energy to be one of the best
craft centers in the U.S. Ron Carlson retired from the UC system
about a year ago, and still lives in his hand-built home in
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, north of San Diego.
I would like to honor both Ron Carlson and his talented staff of
instructors who helped so many UCSD students and members of the San
Diego community find a welcoming and creative oasis under the
eucalyptus trees on the UCSD campus. The time I spent teaching there
was a terrific experience, and I will always reflect on the many
good memories I had there.