by Natasha von Kaenel

(From left) Chris Niemer, Meb Byrne, Adrian Rodriguez, Celeste Flores, and Reed Peck-Kriss pose after winning their Best in Class Red Ribbon for their demonstrations of Blacksmithing at Maker Faire!

This weekend, The Crucible took our forge, furnaces, and fire poofers down to San Mateo for Maker Faire’s 11th annual extravaganza! It’s estimated that 150,000 people came out, and our faculty, staff, and volunteers had fun helping visitors paint pots for a raku firing, design their metal plate for a torch cutting, and stamp copper pendants and charms!

People who stopped by were also able to watch the Blacksmithing Department progress on a surrealist sculpture of a human form with tree trunks and branches instead of limbs. This experience was particularly special for Meb Byrne, (pictured at left) one of our studio volunteers for the last two years. After attending so many renaissance fairs as a child, she dreamed of one day being the woman behind the hammer. Participating in the demonstration at Maker Faire 2017 fulfilled one of her lifelong goals!

On the other side of the booth, our Glass Blowing Department was busy showing off how to make cups, bowls, vases, sculptures, and more, all while staying stylish with fun rainbow umbrella hats to stave off the sun.

And of course, our Foundry Department had the infamous Hello Kitty furnace roaring, melting aluminum to pour into sand molds.

On the last day of the faire, our Blacksmithing Department was awarded with Maker Faire’s Best in Class Red Ribbon, and our entire booth was awarded three Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons!

Thank you to everyone who helped out and all the makers who stopped by, we are already looking forward to next year!

Here are some of our favorite photos:

maker faire 2017 the crucible

The largest of our three fire poofers explodes over The Crucible’s booth at Maker Faire!

maker faire 2017 the crucible

(From left) Adrian Rodriguez, Celeste Flores, and Meb Byrne demonstrating team striking!

maker faire 2017 the crucible

(From left) CJ Martinez, Vernon Theiss, and Denise Taylor pose while manning the Jewelry Department’s booth!

maker faire 2017 the crucible

Young maker getting creative, designing and stamping a copper pendant at Maker Faire!

maker faire 2017 the crucible

One of our Glass Blowing instructors staying stylish in his rainbow umbrella hat, while demonstrating how to open up the rim of a vase.

maker faire 2017 the crucible

Wyatt, an Edgar Allan Poe enthusiast, poses with the sword he just bought from our Blacksmithing Department!

maker faire 2017 the crucible

Nick Parker, our Staff Accountant and a blacksmithing novice, helping out during one of the Blacksmithing demonstrations!

maker faire 2017 the crucible

Adding one more layer of glass to this abstract glass sculpture during a Glass Blowing demonstration at Maker Faire!

maker faire 2017 the crucible

Rikki Smeltzer explaining how the limited oxygen during the final step of a raku firing helps bring out vibrant, unique colors from the glazes, while fire blazes on inside the metal trash can.

maker faire 2017 the crucible

Denise Snaer-Gauder, one of our Foundry instructors, pounding down the sand to prepare the sand mold before the next pour, while explaining the process to a fellow maker!

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