Arts & Crafts Nights Afford Crucible Studio Staff Creative Opportunity

By Cathy Niland | 08.31.2022

Crucible studio staff are constantly putting their maker skills to work for our facility—fixing machines, upgrading equipment, and helping prep for classes are regular daily tasks. Most of our studio staffers have a background in art or fabrication, but their day-to-day roles don’t always leave room for creative expression.

That’s where Arts & Crafts Nights come in. Senior Operations and Production Manager, Eli Hansen, recently started leading informal glass flameworking and glass blowing workshops for our studio employees. He explained, “I wanted to get the Studio Operations Technicians an access point, time to get some training on different things that they might not get during the regular day.”

arts & crafts night

These after-hours gatherings serve multiple purposes. Not only do they give folks a chance to dabble in Crucible offerings, but it also affords them an opportunity to build stronger relationships with their coworkers.

In a less formal environment, studio staff can be looser with their approach. “It’s just meant to be fun,” shared Director of Studio Operations and Facilities, Vanessa Zagaroli. “They can choose to engage rather than it being something that’s impressed upon them. It’s an opportunity to hang out and be creative.”

Studio staff take to Arts & Crafts Nights

So far the response has been really positive. “I thought it would take a lot longer to get people excited about being in the space when they’re off the clock,” Vanessa shared. So far, seven of our Studio Operations Technicians have participated. “They’ve all had a lot of fun,” shared Eli. “It’s been great, everyone’s learning a bunch of stuff.“ 

Vanessa added, “Seeing some of the folks that have been around longer joining in is really encouraging. It’s like, ‘Wow they showed up on a Saturday night, that is really cool’.”

Studio Operations Technician, Taran Wise said this was their first time exploring glass blowing. “That was a great time,” Taran shared. “Eli helped with all aspects of the space, from the furnace to learning to gather glass to maintaining the temperature of that glass and introducing us to some tools.”

Expanding Arts & Crafts Nights in the future

While Arts & Craft Nights have thus far focused on glass-making techniques, the hope is to expand into other areas. “I’d like to explore jewelry, metal casting, wood, ceramics. Generally, I’d like to explore everything.” Taran continued, “There is so much knowledge here. Being able to interact and collaborate and learn from each other is a major benefit of The Crucible. Having time and space to do that is a really great opportunity.”

In the future, both Vanessa and Eli hope to see Arts & Crafts Nights expand to include other Crucible teams. Once Techs build their skills, they can start leading their own demonstrations. “If we can get it going, all of the Techs could have something they teach,” Eli explained.

Even though the program is only a few weeks old, studio staff are seeing immensely positive benefits. Already, techs are finding new ways to communicate and strengthen their working relationships. “Watching confidence grow in ways I didn’t expect is really rewarding,” Vanessa shared. 

Stay tuned for future updates on Arts & Crafts Nights at The Crucible.

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