The Gear Girls


Twelve high school girls from a selected Oakland Unified school explore techniques in ARC welding, oxyacetylene torch cutting, and metal fabrication as part of The Crucible’s Gear Girls program. The girls create original welded steel sculptures inspired by the theme of self-expression and culture, write artist statements, and exhibit their work at the Crucible’s annual GIFTY Open House in December. Many of these girls continue on in other Crucible industrial arts program during summer and through the year.

The Crucible launched Gear Girls in 2010 in response to a need for programming specifically tailored to low-income girls. We have run the dynamic Gear Girls program in areas including foundry, art bike, kinetics, MIG welding, and welded sculpture. The program has served students from Oakland public and charter schools including Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, New Highland Academy, Fremont High School, Edna Brewer Middle School, Oakland Technical High School, Oakland School for the Arts, KIPP Bridge Middle School, and Richmond High.