Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art Classes

It’s not all about metal, glass, and fire at The Crucible. Come check out our softer side with classes that show you how to make finished leather goods, dye with plants, or teach you to manipulate paper.

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Upcoming Bay Area Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art Courses

Browse below for all upcoming Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art classes. Please note that due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, all upcoming Crucible classes are in-person with strict health and safety policies in place for students, faculty, and staff. You must review all Crucible policies before registering.

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Meet The Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art Department Head: Rikki Smeltzer

Rikki Smeltzer was raised in Lawton, Oklahoma surrounded by many different cultures due to the presence of the military base Fort Sill. He describes himself as “an 80’s child,” and was deeply involved in his Native American Culture, as they were a majority of the people in his community. His education includes Culinary Arts, Cartography, Metals and Jewelry Design, Ceramics, and Bookbinding.

Rikki works to make items for today’s ritual. It has always been a part of man to replace what was lost. This has become dominant in current civilization, known as disposable items, making many situations and routines mundane. By making items that are cherished by the individual and not tossed away or passed on, Rikki looks to bring back the appreciation of the items in our lives and how they aid us.

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Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art Adult Classes

The Crucible offers a wide variety of adult classes teaching leather, textiles, and fine art. Whether you want to learn the fundamentals of leather working, natural dyeing, or embossing paper, The Crucible has you covered. See the complete list of leather, textiles, and fine art classes offered below.

Note: Due to COVID-19, we’re unable to offer all of the classes listed below at this time. You can sign up to be notified when specific classes are offered or browse a list of upcoming classes here

3 hour taster framed milagros/

3-Hour Taster: Framed Milagros

Design and fabricate framed Milagros inspired by traditional Mexican artwork and iconography. Create metal imagery like hearts, hands, and nature honoring special moments in your life. Adorn your space with handcrafted Milagros for good luck and positive affirmations.

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3 hour taster leather

3-Hour Taster: Leather

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 hand-tooling, and dyeing, create a leather bracelet, choker, cuff, or card carrier to take home. Take a Taster and meet new friends or give the gift of creativity to someone special.

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bookbinding

Bookbinding

In this course, you will learn the art of bookbinding, to create beautiful personal books for capturing memories, ideas, drawings, and more. We will focus on the foundation of bookbinding technique, history, and materials. You will construct book blocks, practice stitching techniques, and design covers that express your creative voice. Traditional and contemporary tools will be used to construct several types of books.

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bundle dyeing

Bundle Dyeing

Learn the beautiful art of bundle dyeing with plants! In this class, you will gain an understanding of how to work with natural dyes as you explore the process of bundle dyeing. We will cover an introduction to natural dye plants and different types of fabric. We will work with natural dyestuffs including food scraps, fresh and dried flowers, eucalyptus, and more. You will learn how to bundle dye on silk and cotton, including how to prepare the fabric, place the dyestuffs, wrap the fabric, and steam the fabric on a stovetop. No prior experience necessary – beginners welcome.

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Cartoneria

Cartoneria: Mexican Paper Sculpture

Learn cartonería, the ancient and popular art form of Mexican paper-mâché. Cartonería combines Aztec styles with Spanish techniques and is deeply rooted in ancient Mexican legends, traditions, and craftsmanship. In this course you will create fantastic and colorful sculptures from paper and recycled materials, using mythological beasts and characters as a starting point.

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contemporary embossing

Contemporary Embossing

Embossing is the process of raising the two-dimensional surface of a design to give it varying degrees of depth, an effect that can’t be achieved in painting, drawing, or printing. In this three-hour class, students will learn to emboss using a traditional press, exploring a variety of materials and both traditional and experimental techniques. By the end of class, each student will have produced their own embossed artwork.

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Festive Embossed Cards

Festive Embossed Cards

Create a set of fifteen festive holiday cards through embossing and watercolor! Students will learn to emboss using a traditional press, exploring various materials, and utilizing both traditional and experimental techniques. Then apply their watercolor designs gently on top of the pressed imagery. A unique limited-edition set ready to mail to your loved ones.

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friday flame leather journal

Friday Flame: Leather

End the workweek with fire, friends, and a toast. Join us for Friday Flame, a unique night focused on industrial arts and good company. Start by learning to cut, punch, tool, dye, and stitch leather, then create a unique leather card wallet to take home. After class, enjoy wine, beer, or a non-alcoholic beverage and marvel at your new masterpiece!

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Indigo Dyeing and Shibori

Indigo Dyeing and Shibori

Learn to create unique patterns on fabric using shibori techniques and natural indigo dye. You will use folding, tying, and binding resist techniques to dye four cotton napkins and one tote bag. You will also learn the basics of mixing and maintaining a natural indigo dye bath.

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leather working i

Leather Working I

Learn techniques for working with leather, including cutting, edging, stitching, dyeing, and oiling. We will cover design, setting rivets, adding hardware like buckles, and safety issues. Each student will make a belt and at least one bag.

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leather working ii

Leather Working II

Apply and build upon basic leatherworking techniques to create a unique leather project of your own design and pattern. From selecting materials to developing a pattern, you will be challenged to problem-solve all steps of the creative process. We will introduce tooling, wet molding, and other advanced techniques. Come with an idea for your final project.

PREREQUISITE: Leather Working I

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mexican tin ornaments

Mexican Tin Nichos 

Nichos, a folk art tradition popular throughout Central and South America, are a popular way to honor and remember loved ones with a three-dimensional or recessed display box. Using the process of Hojalata (Tin Art) you will make a colorful and highly ornate wall shrine. Bring small items and a picture of the one you want to pay homage to class.

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mexican tin ornaments

Mexican Tin Ornaments

Create unique tin ornaments inspired by repujado and hojalata from Mexico! Learn techniques for tooling aluminum, a malleable form of tin, while working with available designs and patterns or creating a unique design of your own.

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.

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Mordant and Indigo Dyeing

Mordant and Indigo Dyeing

Learn to make a rainbow with natural dye! Cover the fundamentals of natural fibers, mordanting (fabric pre-treatment), and immersion dye baths with red madder root and yellow weld. Create patterns on cloth with shibori techniques and bundle dyeing with whole plants, including dyeing with natural indigo and creating patterns using clay paste resist. Walk away with over 10 personal projects, from silk scarves to cotton bandanas. Students are encouraged to bring your own natural fiber items from home to dye as well.

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pet collar and tag

Pet Collar and Tag

Calling all pet lovers! Learn to cut, edge, and dye leather, then set rivets and add a buckle to your pet’s new dashing collar! Once the collar is complete, take it over to the Jewelry Department and anneal, stamp, and design a tag for your favorite furry friend.

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Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art Youth Classes

In the Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art Department, we offer youth classes specifically for ages 8-18. In these classes, The Crucible provides a unique setting for youth to get hands-on with leather, paper, fabric, and more, 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.

youth paper sculpture

Youth Paper Sculpture (ages 12-18)

Learn how to design, construct and perfect your own unique sculpture made of paper materials! Utilizing recyclable and everyday paper fibers, students are pushed to create sturdy structures with colorful designs.

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youth leather working

Youth Leather Working (ages 12-18)

Learn techniques for working with leather, including cutting, edging, stitching, dyeing, and oiling. We will cover design, setting rivets, adding hardware like buckles, and safety issues. Each student will make a belt and at least one bag.

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youth Mexican tin art

Youth Mexican Tin Art (ages 8-11)

Learn how to create tin art inspired by repujado and hojalata done in Mexico. After a brief history of the tradtional cultural practice and demonstration of techniques, emboss your own designs or pre-drawn patterns onto tooling aluminum.

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youth Mexican tin art

Youth Paper Quilling (ages 12-18)

Come learn the craft of paper quilling, the practice of cutting and bending paper into shapely, decorative forms. Paper quilling projects can be used as wearable and/or decorative pieces.

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youth print making

Youth Print Making (ages 8-11)

Get an introduction to the wonderful practice of printmaking through cartography, relief, and monotype print! Youth will learn how to prep, design, pull and curate their prints while learning basic care of tools and solvents.

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Being Prepared For Your Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art Class

Leather, Textiles, & Fine Art classes are held on the second floor of our building. Please contact us if you have any questions about accessibility and we will be happy to accommodate.

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.

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.

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