Erick Dawkins is an eleven-year-old, almost sixth grader at Redwood Height Elementary School over in East Oakland. His favorite color is green, but his hair is blue, and Erick will be the first to tell you his favorite color will never be his hair color.
Erick first came to The Crucible in the fourth grade on a school field trip. He is one of over 1,000 youth from Oakland Unified School District who visit The Crucible each year for a free educational field trip, where youth learn about the processes, tools, materials, and applications of the industrial arts. Field trips are often the first time where Oakland’s young aspiring artists learn they can take classes and camps in ceramics, woodworking, welding, and more—and even more importantly when they learn about our youth scholarship program.
Over Spring Break, Erick took Clay Critters and Extreme Gizmos and is now back for summer, learning woodcarving and honing his ceramic skills.
What classes have you taken at The Crucible?
There was one where we worked with electricity. I made a fan and a zippy car with two motors and buttons to direct which way the car goes. I also did a clay class that was really fun. Right now I’m also doing woodworking.
For my new clay class, I already know how to do everything because I took it before and have experience—I just know a quite a bit of stuff! I’m making a dragon, a strawberry, a cupcake. I made a tooth fairy as a tooth with wings!