Foundry Department

Casting metal is a 6,000-year-old process still used in both manufacturing and fine art. The founder melts metal (usually aluminum, bronze and cast iron) in a crucible, pours it into a mold, then removes the mold material or the casting once the metal has cooled and solidified. In our classes, beginners learn the chemistry and basic steps that go into making a piece of cast metal, while advanced classes explore the intricacies of casting and metal finishing.

Adult Classes

The Crucible offers a wide variety of adult classes teaching foundry and metalworking. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals of metal casting or something more advanced, The Crucible has you covered. See the complete list of foundry and metalworking adult classes offered below.

3-Hour Taster: Foundry

3-Hour Tasters are a great way to explore a new art form without the deeper commitment of a full course. After a basic introduction to creating sand molds, craft your own mold for a small aluminum tile or medallion, then watch our faculty pour molten aluminum into your piece. Take a Taster and meet new friends or give the gift of creativity to someone special.

Bell Casting

Bell Casting introduces participants to bell design and the lost wax foundry technique. Each student will design, cast, and finish a bell approximately six inches in diameter. This entry-level class will provide a foundation for further exploration in this versatile foundry approach.

Cast Ornaments

Create festive ornaments from cast aluminum! Carve your designs into resin bonded sand to make a sand mold, then watch as molten aluminum is poured to fill your mold. When the metal has cooled, learn finishing and coloring applications to make your ornament pop!

This class is part of Family Day, where parents and guardians with children ages 8 and up are welcome to register with their kids and get hands-on making ornaments—just in time for the holidays.


Design and Make Your Own Waffle Iron

Each student will create a 7” diameter stovetop waffle iron with a waffle pattern of your own design. We will make sand molds and use a cupola furnace to melt the iron. At the spectacular iron pour event, students prepare iron and coke charges, operate the cupola, and pour molten iron into their new mold. The spectacular iron pour will occur on a Friday evening.

Foundry Fundamentals

Begin your exploration of metal casting with this hands-on overview of foundry processes, including wax sculpting, lost wax casting, ceramic shell, sand moldmaking, casting, and finishing. You will help pour molten metal and complete several cast-metal sculptures or utilitarian objects.

Foundry I: Ceramic Shell Process

Ceramic shell is a mold material used in the lost wax casting method. Learn basic wax-working techniques and explore basic metal finishing in this fascinating course. You will create a wax sculpture and build ceramic shell molds, transforming your original wax piece into bronze or aluminum. NOTE: Outside class time is required, as well as additional fees for wax, shell, and bronze.

Foundry II: Ceramic Shell Process

This class is for people with metal casting experience who have completed waxes to cast. We can also accommodate 3-D printed PLA (best unpigmented). Students will prepare their patterns, gate them, build the ceramic shell mold, cast in either bronze or aluminum, destroy the mold, and remove the gates. NOTE: Outside class time is required, as well as additional fees for wax, shell, and metal.

PREREQUISITE: Foundry Fundamentals or Foundry I: Ceramic Shell Process

Foundry Lab

Lab sessions are a great benefit, exclusively for Crucible members! Practice the skills you learn in class and explore new possibilities with your craft. No instruction is provided during lab sessions, but a lab monitor will be present to answer questions, manage safety, and provide overall support. You are free to come and go at your convenience during open lab hours, and additional consumable materials may be purchased from The Crucible onsite.

PREREQUISITE: Foundry experience and Crucible membership

Iron Casting

In this course, you will complete a finished iron sculpture. You will explore mold construction and preparation while building your own sand mold with resin-bonded sand. Learn the steps required to prepare the cupola for an iron pour. At the spectacular iron pour event, students prepare iron and coke charges, operate the cupola, and pour molten iron into their new mold.

Youth Classes

In the Foundry Department, we offer youth classes specifically for ages 12-18. The Crucible is the only school in the country that allows youth as young as age 12 pour their own pieces in the Foundry Department. The Crucible provides a unique setting for youth to get hands-on casting metal, exploring their creative voices and absorbing real-life lessons in science, technology, engineering, and math. You can see all The Crucible’s offerings for youth here.

guide to youth camps

Youth Adventures in Sand Casting (ages 12-18)

In this introduction to foundry processes, turn your ideas into cast-metal sculptures! You will create both open-faced and closed sand molds, then learn to pour molten aluminum with the help of your classmates. Once cooled, apply coloring and finishing techniques, then leave with a unique, finished sculpture you cast yourself!

Meet The Foundry Department Head: Ivan Berejkoff

Ivan has accumulated talents in a broad range of craft processes. The drive to seek out these skills has roots in his desire to be a better metal caster, as an understanding in a variety of materials can serve all steps involved in the process such as mold pattern making, furnace operation, metal finishing, and equipment fabrication. In addition to completing an undergraduate degree with an emphasis in sculpture and earning vocational diplomas in industrial maintenance, machining, and welding technologies, he has also received journey-level recognition as a Foundry Patternmaker from the California Department of Industrial Relations and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). These experiences have provided him with well-rounded knowledge in many building materials and tools that he has used to contribute to studio operations, manufacturing, and industrial arts faculty roles.

While Ivan continues his efforts towards the unobtainable goal of knowing everything, he also can be found slowly picking away at whatever sculpture he has in the works, fitnessing, or making time to do nothing.

Being Prepared For Your Foundry Class

Foundry classes are usually held on the first floor of The Crucible studios.

Students must arrive for class in all-natural fiber clothing, long pants, and closed-toe, closed-heel shoes with socks that protect up to the ankle. Long hair must be tied back. Nylon, polyester, spandex, or other synthetics are not allowed around machines, equipment, or processes that can produce hot fragments, sparks, or flames.

In Foundry, students will likely only being around flames on pouring days, but The Crucible requests students always arrive in studio safe clothing when working. Layers are encouraged as the studio can be very cold or very hot. Foundry classes can have additional sessions to get ready for the pour, please read the class descriptions carefully.

Ready to get hands-on in Foundry?

The Crucible has Foundry and Metalworking classes starting each month