Departments

BLACKSMITHING

Throughout history skilled blacksmiths have worked metal to create weapons and armor, horseshoes, tools, decorative railings, furniture and sculpture of all types. Our introductory teach the basic techniques of heating metal until it becomes soft enough to shape with hand tools, such as a hammer, anvil and chisel. You’ll learn five basic operations employed in forging: drawing, shrinking, bending, upsetting and punching, and you’ll make several small pieces of your own. Advanced introduce specialized skills in bladesmithing, forgewelding and ornamental ironwork, and there is even a special workshop taught by women just for women.

CERAMICS

Much more than bowls and mugs, ceramic art describes items for functional use or purely for decoration. Made by forming and heating clay to high temperatures in a kiln to increase their strength, set their shape and finish surfaces. At The Crucible, the focus is on sculptural handwork or hand building, the earliest and most individualized forming method. While hand building is slower and more gradual than wheel-throwing, it offers a high degree of control and flexibility in creating one-of-a-kind works of art. Ceramic work also provides a foundation in three-dimensional work that easily transfers to jewelry, glass and foundry work, where you create sculpture to be cast in another material.

ENAMELING

Enameling is the colorful result of fusing powdered glass to metal with high heat. The glass melts, flows and fuses to the metal to form a durable vitreous coating. The first enamels were dated to the 6th century BC in ancient Cypress. At The Crucible you can learn both traditional and experimental techniques of application on various metals from gold to steel and everything in between. You can learn to make objects ranging from fine cloisonné jewelry to large-scale steel sculptures and wall pieces.

FIRE PERFORMANCE

Fire is a powerful, mythic element. Humans have always been fascinated by fire; it has played a significant role in our history and molded our very way of life. Since the dawn of civilization, cultures have used fire as a form of artistic expression and also for warfare. For artists, fire can be both subject matter and the means by which the art itself is created. Fire performers have a deep respect for the flame and know that by no means do they ever have total control over it. At The Crucible, you can learn to safely manipulate fire’s captivating power, and learn to make and use various tools like poi, fire staffs, hula-hoops and fire rope dart.

FOUNDRY

Casting metal is a 6,000 year-old process still used today in both manufacturing and fine art. In a foundry, metals are placed into a crucible and transformed by melting them, pouring the molten metal into a mold, and removing the mold material or casting after the metal has cooled and solidified. The most common metals used in fine art are aluminum, bronze and cast iron. In The Crucible’s entry-level foundry, you will learn the chemistry and basic steps that go into making a piece of cast metal, while advanced further explore myriad intricacies of casting and metal finishing.

GLASS

The Crucible’s glass program teaches many different methods for creating beautiful and functional objects from glass, with a focus on warm glass and cold working. Among the most versatile of materials, you can work with glass rods directly in the flame of a torch; fuse and reshape pieces of glass by melting them in a kiln; cast glass into molds; drill, carve, and cut cold glass; or use a high temperature glory hole to heat and form glass with hand tools. Whether you’re interested in creating jewelry, beads, sculpture or tableware, our glass and labs will help you get there.

HOT WHEELS

Here’s a group of that will help keep your ride on the road – whether it’s a motorcycle or bicycle you use for every day transportation, an art bike or car you’re inspired to create or a customized hot rod. If it has wheels, you can learn from the pros how to trick it out and keep it running in top condition.

JEWELRY

Throughout our history humans have adorned themselves with jewelry. They have used jewelry as currency, symbol of wealth or a reflection of spiritual beliefs and artistic expression. The Crucible’s jewelry program teaches basic skills and techniques in a variety of methods of creating jewelry, whether it be traditional metalsmithing and fabrication, casting metal using the lost wax method, setting gemstones or shaping modern resin and clay. Introductory jewelry teach properties of metals and how to use appropriate tools to create original pieces or small sculpture, while advanced jewelry are available to expand your knowledge into specific techniques, learn to make your own tools or even design your own home studio.

KINETICS & ELECTRONICS

Kinetic art contains moving parts or depends on motion and/or sound for its effect; the moving parts being powered by wind, by a motor, by clockwork or manually. The possibilities of integrating movement and sound with artwork are nearly endless – from wind-powered mobiles to motorized robots, art cars, flaming sculptures and more. You can learn to add movement, sound and interactivity to your artwork in that explore and explain the physics of movement, electronics and mechanical components, microcontrollers and even flame effects. Then take a project lab to practice and perfect your skills and make your wildest ideas a dynamic reality.

MACHINE SHOP

In The Crucible’s machine shop you can learn the capabilities and scope of the milling machine and the lathe, which are the cornerstones of any machine shop, and among the most complicated tools to operate. With these two tools, you can make almost anything out of metal with precision and accuracy, from an engine block to a washer, often necessary for those working on bicycle and mechanical projects or kinetics. Machine Shop lab is available for experienced workers to work on personal projects and perfect your skills.

MOLDMAKING

Molds are used to produce everything from objects of art to kitchen sinks; they are used both as a step in original one-off creations and to make multiples. When you have a three-dimensional piece you wish to duplicate, creating the right type of mold from the original is the first step. Whether you work in metal, resin, plastic or glass, large format or small, our moldmaking will give you a great foundation and teach you which technique and what materials to use to give you the best results.

NEON & LIGHT

Radiant light technology has developed materials and processes that greatly expand the possibilities and palette for light design. Whether incandescent, fluorescent, neon, LED, plasma or electro-luminescent wire produce the illumination, these introduce and explain techniques, tools, properties and adaptability of luminous materials. Finished projects can either stand alone or be combined with many of the other processes taught at The Crucible.

ARTIST RESOURCES

Whether you’re just beginning to explore your creativity or are an experienced artist, the in this section are designed to assist you – from understanding basic design principles or the properties of the materials you work with to finding your inner muse. Specific workshops help you navigate copyright law, get your work professionally photographed, or teach you how to write about it.

PAPER & TEXTILES

It’s not all about metal, glass and fire at The Crucible. Come check out our softer side with art that will help you get better acquainted with your sewing machine, turn old T-shirts into hot couture, create 3D photography or learn the ancient art of cartoneria.

STONE WORKING

The Crucible’s stone teach the skills you need to carve stone, sculpt it into vibrant and organic art pieces, mold it into furniture and even cast concrete counter tops. You’ll learn traditional hand-carving techniques and how to work with pneumatic tools, as well as how to design and shape different materials.

WELDING

Joining metal together through heat is a fabrication process used since the Bronze Age, and new technology develops continually. The Crucible teaches beginning and advanced in four different kinds of welding: oxyacetylene gas welding, arc or stick welding, metal inert gas (MIG) welding and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. Start with a beginning class in one type of welding, or begin by exploring all four types of welding in our Exploring Welding class.

WOODWORKING

In The Crucible’s woodworking program, you can learn to work with wood using hand tools and power tools, learn to carve and turn wood and apply your skills to projects.

Learn to design and build your own furniture, turn a wooden bowl, carve a spoon or create a project combining woodworking and welding techniques.