This past week, Alameda County extended its shelter-in-place order through May 31, meaning The Crucible will remain closed for at least another month. We miss gathering with our creative community more than anything, and during this time of closure we have been doing our best to support our community of staff and faculty.
A limited number of staff have been rotating through the studio to oversee food distributions to our impacted community members, keep our machinery functioning and running if necessary (looking at you slurry machine), and chipping away at some studio improvements that are difficult to make when our building is full of students.
It’s brighter in here! Check out the new environmentally-friendly LED lighting in our Fire Performance studio.
Director of Studio Operations and Facilities, Kua Patten, is leading our skeleton crew in a series of studio upgrades, including new lighting, expanded storage, window repairs, and updated safety measures. He explained, “Since the Shelter-In-Place began, we have been taking advantage of the time to work on tasks around the studios that would otherwise be difficult or disruptive during our normal operations.”
Making these upgrades now will help us be more prepared for you when it is safe for us to re-open. Some of the most exciting updates are those that help the environment and reduce our energy usage, including replacing our old fluorescent lighting with new LED lights in our office workspace and classrooms—something we had been gearing up to do right before we closed. We have also been focusing on improving some equipment, including installing new wiring in our mortising machine, repairing our CNC plasma cutter, and installing a casting torch in the Jewelry studio.
The install of the new casting torch in Jewelry.
And we took some time to give the studio a bit of a facelift, moving our beautiful custom-made glass “Welcome to The Crucible” sign to a more brightly lit location in the office, repainting all faded safety lines and exit arrows with fresh yellow paint, and replacing some of the broken skylights to ensure our studios are sunny and bright when it is safe for students to return—a day we are greatly forward to.
Hope you are all staying healthy and safe—we can’t wait to welcome you back to safely get creative with our furnaces, torches, hammers, and anvils.