Mark Metz

Welding Department Head
Teaching Since: 2003
Involved Since: 2001
Department(s): Blacksmithing, Welding


I began my journey into welding, fabrication, and the metalworking arts by joining the Survival Research Laboratories team led by Mark Pauline in 1986. ( I spent five years immersed with this fire and robotics performance art crew building and operating machines and special effects devices for large scale shows in California, Washington, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Barcelona. This led to work in a variety of fields including structural ironwork, marine welding, and stainless steel winery equipment manufacture.

From 1995 to 2006 I privately contracted high end architectural and interior design projects for the designers Ron and Louise Mann, many of which were featured in publications such as Architectural Digest and Nest. This was a diverse collection of challenging designs including bespoke furniture, custom installations & fixtures, and sculptural components in materials such as brass, copper, stainless, and cast magnesium, as well as mild steel and stainless.

Alongside this commercial and privately commissioned work, I’ve created innumerable metal sculptures and functional art pieces, many of which found homes in private residences or public retreat centers.

My work with The Crucible began in 2001 as a Studio Manager when we were located on Murray Street in West Berkeley. After the move to Oakland I taught a class called “Special Projects in Metal Design” for several years, sort of an ABC’s of fabrication skills for aspiring designers, furniture makers, and sculptors. After a nearly decade-long hiatus to pursue other interests and raise a child I returned to The Crucible to re-join the welding faculty in 2017.

In my creative metal work, I feel that I am primarily working with light. The various patterns, textures, and material properties of different metals are only the medium. My goal is to create lasting and timeless pieces that evoke feelings of curiosity, levity, and joy among those who share space with them.

With my students and functional projects, I bring the values of solid craftsmanship and structural integrity to the fore. I believe that a well-made object should outlast it’s maker for generations, and glow with an inherent quality that only a skilled and dedicated creator can provide. In a world of simulacra and technology, the hand guided by consciousness shines through.