For the past few years, Valerie Fish has found inspiration for her stained glass all around her, be it California poppies or a drawing by her son. As a longtime maker, Valerie knows the importance of art, especially for our youth, and when presented with an opportunity to support The Crucible’s programming through Giving Back at GIFTY, she jumped at the chance!
When Abisola Coretta began her Ph.D. program, she had never heard of The Crucible. “Speaking with a professor at Stanford, they mentioned The Crucible as being a really cool maker space, so I came on a tour.” During her first visit, Abisola spent more than two hours speaking with our faculty about their process, our mission, and The Crucible’s influence in the Bay Area maker community.
Two years after taking his first Crucible class, Simha Furaha stepped into the Hot Shop and fell in love with Glass Blowing. From 2018-19, he was a Fuego Youth Leader in that department, helping summer camp instructors teach youth students while also working on his craft with a mentor.
Robert Graf was always passionate about technology and art. He dabbled in electronics at an early age and has long been interested in neon even before his first neon class six years ago. Now he's using his neon experience to give back.
For most makers, November is high production time, and that is no different for Latisha Baker. This year, she’ll be returning for her third GIFTY craft show at The Crucible. About a year-and-a-half ago, Latisha committed to making art full time, but she’s been creating fine and wearable art for the past two decades.
What did you do this summer? For most people, we’d guess plans didn’t include taking seven industrial arts classes. But for 13-year-old Jada, that’s exactly what her summer looked like. Even though she’d never been to The Crucible before, Jada dove in headfirst at the suggestion of her mom who wanted her to do something fun during summer break.
Samantha Espinoza first visited The Crucible in 2017 when she brought her high school students for a field trip. As someone who’s made art most of her life, she knows first hand the importance of arts education and the impact educators, specifically, those of color, can have on a student’s creative confidence. It wasn’t long before she connected with staff and soon thereafter became faculty in the Leather, Textiles, and Fine Art Department for youth summer camps.
Erick Dawkins first came to The Crucible on a fourth-grade field trip and has now taken four classes, finding accomplishment making with his hands.
For the past twenty years, Rosa Dorantes has been dedicated to sharing her knowledge of ceramics. An Oakland-native who found The Crucible just over one year ago, Rosa has transformed our Ceramics Department into a sanctuary that keeps students coming back. In the year since she has taken over as Department Head, multiple students have taken Ceramics I with Rosa three times in a row.
Woodworking instructor David Page notoriously breaks hearts by turning down commissions, reserving custom work strictly for friends and family. Lucky for us, David is family! Read to find out his two proudest moments and why he makes a weekly commute from LA to Oakland.