Our next Fireside Lounge leads us to explore creation and how ideas move from concept into creative expression.

Friday, May 10, 2013
$10 / Free for Crucible members
The Crucible, 1260 7th St, Oakland  
>> Directions

In collaboration with Maker Month, The Crucible celebrates creation with a spectacular evening of art, performance, thoughtful discussion and, of course, fire!

In our studios, we will explore processes that make creation simple. With our distinguished panel we will discuss and demystify how to do-it-yourself, Crucible style, inspiring creativity in everyone. The Crucible student and faculty will showcase creation with the “In Motion” art exhibition. Fire and dance performances will delight guests throughout the evening. 

7pm: Panel Discussion

Public art consultant, Leslie Pritchett, will facilitate our May panel discussion in our Performance Studio at 7pm with:

  • Hopi Breton, Sculpture Artist and Diablo Valley College Professor
  • Melissa Alexander, Director of Public Programs at San Francisco’s recently relocated Exploratorium
  • Dale Dougherty, Founder, President and CEO of Make Magazine, the heart and soul of Maker Faire

>> Full Panel Bios

Live industrial art demonstrations: 

  • Foundry – Our foundry department will be doing a live iron pour – an amazing demonstration of molten metal you won’t want to miss!
  • Kinetics and Electronics
  • Welding – MIG, TIG, ARC/OXY
  • Bike Shop – Art Bike Showcase
  • Machine Shop
  • Paper & Textiles – Leatherworking, Bookbinding


The Crucible’s art exhibit “In Motion” will showcase remarkable artwork by Crucible artists under the theme of movement.

Performances throughout the night:

  • Rockabelly – West Oakland-based bellydance fusion group
  • The Crucible’s Fire Performance faculty and student showcase


Own a piece of creation by:

Food truck by Subs on Hubs
Beer by Linden Street Brewery

“Creation” Panel Bios

Facilitator, Leslie Pritchett brings to her public art and community art program consulting more than 20 years experience in corporate marketing, small business and start-up business management. She spent several years as managing partner of Digital Pond, a high-end digital imaging company serving clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, such as Nike and Hewlett-Packard, to leading museums and fine art print purveyors, including the Ansel Adams Gallery. She entered the nonprofit arena as executive director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, where over the course of three years she produced or supported more than 28 public art projects, including eight major and award-winning temporary public installations within the City of San Francisco. She secured the organization’s first major grants from the James Irvine Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, SF Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Department of the Environment and several private foundations. The program for temporary art exhibition that she helped establish now serves as a model for municipalities around the country. Through public art consulting and production of major public art exhibitions, Leslie is able to integrate her business experience with her love of fostering community-building art programs. Leslie holds a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University and a degree in French Literature from Dartmouth College.

Panelist, Hopi Breton is a Bay Area-based artist and Professor or Art at Diablo Valley College. She received her MFA with a concentration in sculpture from Montana State University, in Bozeman, Montana in 2001, and her BA from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1996. In addition to her academic background in Art, hopi grew up surrounded by artists. A weaver mother and musician father (who often fixed instruments) significantly formed her early fascination with the processes of making, materials, and craft. Hopi’s studio practice focuses on Conceptual Craft-oriented sculpture with a heavy concentration on form, abstracted common objects, and material. Her technical background is in metal working, specifically in Foundry work and in cast iron. She has organized and worked with students and peers to create cast iron art performances nationally, including the International Cast Iron Art Conference at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Al, The Western Cast Iron Art Conference, in Denver, CO, and the Fire Arts Festival at the Crucible in Oakland, CA. Her performance foundry work explores stages of the process while using molten metal as an ingredient, rather than a means to an end. Many of these performances imitate leisure daily activities such as baking and bowling. She is motivated by any opportunity to gather, organize, and collaborate with artists. She has also curated several shows, including “Metaliform, All Things Metal”, “Between Places; Photography and Sculpture”, and “Turf; Ecological Activism and Art” at Diablo Valley College’s Art Gallery.

Panelist, Melissa Alexander is the Exploratorium’s Director of Public Programs, and oversees all temporal programming  for the casual museum visitor. Since 1989 Alexander has developed and produced numerous  public programs and exhibition projects for the Exploratorium, both on site and online, including the online resources “Evidence: How do we know what we know?” Doctor Atomic: Commentary on an Opera, and Live@Exploratorium: Origins and the award winning exhibition Revealing Bodies an experimental exhibition addressing the social, cultural and political impact of scientific, anatomical and biomedical representations of the human body. 

Panelist, Dale Dougherty is the founder, President & CEO of Maker Media, Inc. in Sebastopol, CA. Maker Media produces Make Magazine, which launched in 2005, and Maker Faire, which was held first in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006. MAKE has been the catalyst for a worldwide Maker Movement that is transforming innovation in industry, hands-on learning in education and the personal lives of makers of all ages. MAKE invites everyone to become a maker, and integrate creative goals with technical skills. Dougherty was a co-founder of O’Reilly Media, where he was the first editor of their computing trade books, and developed GNN in 1993, the first commercial website. He coined Web 2.0 in 1993. MAKE started at O’Reilly Media and spun out as its own company in January 2013. He grew up in Louisville, KY.

Panelist, Beckey Kaye was born in Los Angeles in 1976 and reared under the love of a hard-working single mom and older sister. As a child, she studied ballet, befriended stray cats and climbed more than her share of trees. She attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts with a focus on modern dance and site-specific choreography. In 1994, she moved to Seattle with a full scholarship to Cornish College of the Arts Dance Department. However, a bite from the wanderlust bug and a strong inclination towards puppetry caused her to seek education elsewhere. In 1996, she joined a transient street punk performance group called Circus Dischordia and performed as a fire dancer and puppeteer. In 1998, she founded a nomadic puppet performance troupe called Mimicry Libre Puppet Theatre and performed at various protests and activist events. Trying to save money for overseas travel, she worked migrant agricultural jobs around the States.  By 2000, she was on a plane to Indonesia to study mask carving with the Dell Arte Study Abroad program. Her newfound love for Indonesian woodcarving directed an opportunity to become a Darmasiswa Scholar and study Set Construction and Wayang Golek at Sekolah Tinngi Seni Indonesia, Bandung. She also collaborated and stayed with the Javanese artist community, Taring Padi in Yogyakarta. In 2004, she enrolled in California College of the Arts with a major in Sculpture and graduated with distinction in 2007.  After graduation she worked as a wheelchair mechanic at National Seating and Mobility and as the Sculpture Shop Technician at UC Berkeley. She attended Machine and Welding Technology programs at Laney College before getting accepted into SFSU MFA program in 2010. She currently lives in South Berkeley with her dog, Kerosene. She works as a welding instructor and studio manager at The Crucible.

Event Location & Directions

The Crucible
1260 7th Street
Oakland, CA 94607

>> Directions


The Crucible has a very small parking lot on the corner of 7th & Union that will be available for disabled placard parking only. Those spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are also two paid parking lots. One is on Kirkham Avenue and the other is the 5th Street lot by BART. Please do not park in lots owned by local businesses or the residential area behind The Crucible.

Public Transit

Ditch the car and don’t worry about parking – The Crucible is easily accessible by BART! From the West Oakland BART Station, exit onto 7th Street, turn right, and walk 2 blocks east to Union (at the 2nd light). The Crucible is on the northwest corner of 7th & Union, at 1260 7th Street.

Special thanks to: