Got Lemons? Make Lemon-Aid.

Got Lemons? Make Lemon-Aid.

Published on Monday, February 15, 2021. This article appears in the Spring 2021 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Jon Spayde
Glass lemons in a glass bowl

These glass lemons are part of Lemons to Lemon-Aid, a project supporting artists by the Museum of Craft and Design and the nonprofit Public Glass, both in San Francisco. Photo by Brynn Hurlstone.

These luscious-looking lemons aren’t for squeezing—they’re made of glass by artisans at Public Glass, San Francisco’s unique nonprofit, public-access glass studio and school in Bayview–Hunter’s Point. They’re made by the cast-glass process, finished with sandblasting to create a matte, lemon-rind feel, and on sale exclusively at the Museum of Craft and Design (MCD), about two miles up the road in the Dogpatch neighborhood. Under the heading Lemons to Lemon-Aid, MCD is giving 20 percent of the proceeds to Public Glass in order to put glass artisans back to work.

Photos by Brynn Hurlstone.

When the pandemic hit, Public Glass—which gives people in a historically underserved neighborhood access to artisanal training and the beauty of glass art—had to lay off half of its staff and severely curtail its programming, teaching, and access to its facilities, says Public Glass executive director Nate Watson. “Lemon-Aid is allowing us to hire our artists back and pay them,” he says. “That’s the work we have to do in our craft field—make sure we are creating an economy for artists to move through and move up.”

“Lemon-Aid is an opportunity for someone to collect a piece of craft and hold it in their hands and feel nourished by it—and it lets us partner with a neighbor, which is very appealing,” says JoAnn Edwards, executive director of MCD. “It just felt like something—pardon the pun—really juicy to do. At a time like this, we all want to figure out ways to help each other. In the age of COVID, what we do outside our walls is more impactful than what we do inside.”

Lemon-Aid has proved so popular that MCD is continuing to sell the artisanal lemons past the project’s initial January 15 cutoff date, and the partnership is offering “Pink Lemon-Aid”—with lemons tinted appropriately—this spring. “And why not Lime-Aid this summer?” says Edwards.

Pink glass lemons in a glass bowl

Photo by Brynn Hurlstone.

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