On a Tuesday evening last August, Crucible instructor Judy Stone presented the world of enameling to a group of women from the Bead Society of Northern California. I first met Judy briefly at The Enamelist Society conference in the summer of 2009, and I was excited to see her again. I had never enameled before — at the conference I took Trish McAleer's metal corrugation workshop — so I was excited to hear what Judy had to present. She discussed the various tools of the craft, described the process and presented the current state of the craft, including showing work from the emerging artists in the field. Her passion for enameling lit up the room.
I HAVE AN IRON coat hook, and I'm so proud. It's about six inches long, tapered, then curved into a shape any self-respecting single-handed pirate captain would covet. The non-hook end is flattened out and has a hole, so as to screw it to a wall for handy coat-hanging purposes. I've been showing it off every chance I get. Hi, Mr. UPS-man-at-my-front-door. Wanna see my coat hook? Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it cool? No applause necess- oh, if you must.
Now being in possession of a coat hook may not seem terribly exciting to you, unless your coats are strewn all over the floor in a big mess, and then you'd appreciate one. But to me, this hook is even more than a practical organizing tool. To me, it is a solid testament to persistence, fortitude and stalwart forearm flexors, because I did not merely pick this coat hook up at Lowe's. Nay, I forged this fine firm fixture all by myself and I have the blisters — I mean, calluses in training — to prove it.
My 12-year old daughter and 10-year old son recently attended two sessions of summer camp, at The Crucible, and I am moved to write my very first blog. When my kids attended their first summer session in June, I was a full-time working mom, happy to have a cool and creative safe place to send my budding artists. Both kids were thrilled at taking such cool classes and were a part of the selection process in choosing classes.
My girl was a bit apprehensive but enjoyed being the lone girl in the all male blacksmithing and welding courses.
Every once in a while you do something that you know you can't tell your mom about until after you've done it. You know that taking a class called Fearless Fire Eating is just not really going to go over very well with mom.
It's really quite safe, though you know you'll never convince mom of that. From what Kristina, our instructor said, it's the safest fire performance art, since you have complete control over the fire.
Recently, two members of our faculty have been in the news, reflecting the amazingly talented people in our community and their passion for making and sharing art.
Norman Moore, neon and light instructor, recently completed a public art project for the Alameda County Arts Commission in collaboration with Nancy Mizuno Elliot, a student in one of his classes. They created a series of windows for the new Castro Valley Library, which just opened to the public.
Jay Bridgland, head of our Flameworking department, was recently profiled in Alameda Magazine, where he has recently set up a new studio and is a driving force in the 2nd Friday Estuary Art Attack open studios.
Non-discrimination policy: The Crucible is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, gender, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation or physical disability.