ABOUT THE CRUCIBLE2018-10-23T16:52:30+00:00

About The Crucible

The Crucible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts education organization that fosters a collaboration of arts, industry, and community. Through training in the fine and industrial arts, The Crucible promotes creative expression, reuse of materials, and innovative design, while serving as an accessible arts venue for the general public in the Bay Area. Known for one-of-a-kind industrial arts education programs, The Crucible is also highly regarded for its innovative performances.

Mission

The Crucible inspires creative exploration and expression through welcoming, hands-on arts education and experiences for people of diverse ages and backgrounds. As an innovative hub built around the industrial arts, The Crucible is a catalyst for individual growth and vibrant community connections.
A leader in the Bay Area arts community, The Crucible is widely recognized for its exceptional learning experiences, rich and varied arts programs, skilled and committed faculty, and unparalleled educational facilities.

History

The Crucible first opened its doors on January 15th, 1999, in a rented 6,000 square foot warehouse in West Berkeley. Sculptor Michael Sturtz, leading a small, dedicated cohort, shared his vision of a new kind of industrial arts educational experience that offered anyone and everyone the opportunity to be creative. Since then, with the generous support of faculty, donors, volunteers, students, staff, members, and the local community, The Crucible has grown to become the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the United States. Read more about the history.

Values

We believe in the power of making and creative risk-taking.

We celebrate awe-inspiring arts-based experiences and our ability to foster and share them.

We create an environment that is fun, respectful, non-competitive, and welcoming to anyone who wants to participate.

We nurture others and ourselves by creating a safe environment in which to test the boundaries of new abilities and artistic expression.

We appreciate varied life experiences, perspectives and abilities, and believe that we can all learn from one another through shared creative endeavor.

We value the skills, craftsmanship and knowledge of our faculty, staff, and students, and celebrate our opportunities to offer access to broad-ranging expertise and artistic excellence.

Values

We believe in the power of making and creative risk-taking.

We celebrate awe-inspiring arts-based experiences and our ability to foster and share them.

We create an environment that is fun, respectful, non-competitive, and welcoming to anyone who wants to participate.

We nurture others and ourselves by creating a safe environment in which to test the boundaries of new abilities and artistic expression.

We appreciate varied life experiences, perspectives and abilities, and believe that we can all learn from one another through shared creative endeavor.

We value the skills, craftsmanship and knowledge of our faculty, staff, and students, and celebrate our opportunities to offer access to broad-ranging expertise and artistic excellence.

Forges roar, sparks fly, glass bends, neon glows, and creativity explodes.

Since our start in 1999, The Crucible has grown into a premier fine and industrial art center where art thrives, inspires, and is accessible. From welding to glass blowing to woodworking to jewelry-making to fire dancing, classes are designed to bring together beginners and experienced artists and tradespeople to create a one-of-a-kind learning environment. We offer a non-competitive, open environment where people with diverse interests and backgrounds can work together and learn from one another.

The Crucible has produced a wide variety of events, including our iconic Fire Arts Festivals, fire operas, Hot Couture fashion show, and seasonal Open Houses. Maintaining collaborations with highly trained craft and industrial artists, our goal is to create memorable events.

We depend on annual membership donations and other gifts from individuals to continue to offer low-cost classes and special programs. Tuition only covers two-thirds of our annual budget, so we need your support now more than ever to continue to grow and expand our programs.

One-of-a-kind Industrial Arts Experience

At The Crucible, people come together to share skills, and forge objects and friendships. In a world filled with automated technology, The Crucible offers adult and youth students alike a chance to get their hands dirty and make useful or artful objects themselves, from scratch, and from start to finish. Glass Flameworking instructor, Tara Murray reported: “A young girl started the first day of glass flameworking summer camp with her head down, shaggy hair completely obscuring her face, shoulders slumped forward. Students in our class work independently, and her hands proved skillful as she learned the craft with quiet focus and concentration. She gained confidence in her own abilities, and this in turn gave her self-confidence within the group; by the end of the week, she was sitting up, engaged, curious eyes wide open, her hair tied back in a red bandanna. Her last journal page was filled with drawings of herself at the torch, wearing her bandanna, saying, ‘Goodbye fire.’ I’m pretty sure she meant the torch, because I saw some fire in her that I think she’ll be keeping.”

One-of-a-kind Industrial Arts Experience

At The Crucible, people come together to share skills, and forge objects and friendships. In a world filled with automated technology, The Crucible offers adult and youth students alike a chance to get their hands dirty and make useful or artful objects themselves, from scratch, and from start to finish. Glass Flameworking instructor, Tara Murray reported: “A young girl started the first day of glass flameworking summer camp with her head down, shaggy hair completely obscuring her face, shoulders slumped forward. Students in our class work independently, and her hands proved skillful as she learned the craft with quiet focus and concentration. She gained confidence in her own abilities, and this in turn gave her self-confidence within the group; by the end of the week, she was sitting up, engaged, curious eyes wide open, her hair tied back in a red bandanna. Her last journal page was filled with drawings of herself at the torch, wearing her bandanna, saying, ‘Goodbye fire.’ I’m pretty sure she meant the torch, because I saw some fire in her that I think she’ll be keeping.”

New Classes Start Each Week

Search For More Than 200 Upcoming Classes!

Bladesmithing

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This specialized course focuses on the forging techniques needed to produce sharp-edged tools of high-carbon steel. We will cover blade design, control of steel grain structure,...

Enameling I

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Discover the ancient art of fusing glass to metal. You will learn techniques in metal preparation and fabrication for enameling, kiln properties and firing methods, properties of...

Blacksmithing I

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Learn the basics of blacksmithing! This class teaches the fundamental skills needed to forge steel and understand blacksmithing tools. We will introduce tapering, upsetting,...

MIG Welding

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MIG (metal inert gas) is the most common type of modern welding. It is a process by which a welding machine focuses electricity along a moving metal wire that is fed through a hose...

Cloisonne

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Hone your artistic skills with renowned enamel artist Roberta Smith and the intricate, scientific process of cloisonné enameling. Use the rich, subtle, and distinctive colors of...

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