Youth Workshops & Group Classes 2017-10-04T16:42:14+00:00

Youth Workshops & Group Classes

The Crucible hosts several types of youth workshops, activities, and community art projects with local schools and organizations. Youth complete projects like welded sculptures, glass tiles and mosaics, robots and gizmos, and glass tube sculptures, while learning basic rules of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. These workshops are active and will have students energized and excited, encouraging each other creatively. There is always a lot of enthusiastic story swapping about their experiences in industrial arts at the end of each session!

Request Estimate


Each student creates an individual project to take home with a small group, starting at $32/per hour with a 3-hour minimum.  Longer multi-day workshops are also available.

Field Trips

During a field trip to The Crucible, youth explore twelve demonstrations areas, including Glass Blowing, Welding, Blacksmithing, and more! We have both prescheduled Field Trip Days and private field trips available.

Special Projects

Build custom benches, gates, community totem poles, mascots, and more to live on school premises and inspire future generations of students.

Youth Workshops

The Crucible offers exciting industrial art group workshops for Bay Area youth, ages 8-18.  This is a special way for classes or groups to get hands-on and learn new skills in our many different departments, including Glass Blowing, Ceramics, Welding, Blacksmithing, Jewelry, and more!

The minimum age for most of our fire arts workshops  (welding, glass flameworking, etc.) is twelve, except for Glass Blowing and TIG Welding, which are for ages 14-18.  We also have non-fire arts workshops available for youth as young as eight. There are maximum and minimum numbers of students possible for each type of workshop, and more intensive, multi-day workshops can be set up for all of the departments listed below.

Workshops are $32/per student per hour, unless otherwise noted.


Clay Sculpture

Learn exciting hand-building techniques in working with clay! Projects can include cups, bowls, trivets, masks, or figures.

4 people min / 8 people max

Clay Critters

Explore clay as a sculptural material to create critters of your own imagination! Students will learn hand-building techniques (slabs, coils, etc.), mold-making with plaster, and different surface treatments with traditional glazes and non-traditional approaches. They will also venture into other materials such as fabrics, metal, and wood.

4 people min / 8 people max

Chibi Miniature Figurines

Learn the basics of preparing, shaping, sculpting, cane making and baking polymer clay. Using their own brightly colored clay, students will make small sculptures known as Chibis and incorporate them into wearable objects and accessories that they can take home and wear with pride!

4 people min / 8 people max


Learn kinetic techniques to design, engineer, and construct a mechanical sculpture, contraption, or gadget with moving parts. Using new and salvaged components, students will learn how motors and switches work by creating mechanical structures and different types of motion eventually incorporating switches to operate their very own fantastical contraption!
4 people min / 8 people max

Cartonería: Mexican Paper Sculpture

Learn the ancient and popular art form of Mexican paper-mâché. Cartonería combines Aztec styles with Spanish techniques and is deeply rooted in ancient Mexican legends, traditions and craftsmanship. In this course, students will fashion fantastic and colorful sculptures from paper and recycled materials.
5 people min / 8 people max

Marbled Paper Star-Folded Book

Students are introduced to Marbling Paper, a beautiful and colorful printing technique that never makes the same design twice. They then take that paper and create a unique presentation in the form of a star-folded book.
5 people min / 10 people max


This class introduces basic hand tools and their functions through hands-on demonstrations. Students are given expert guidance through every step of the carving process, from brainstorming to adding fine detail to creating a unique 3-D project of their own design.
4 people min / 8 people max

Glass Sand Casting

See molten glass being poured into a mold of your very own design. Students start by pressing into a sand mold to create a negative impression of their image. Then, molten glass is poured into the mold to make a positive relief in glass that will make a great paperweight or sun catcher.
5 people min / 8 people max

FOR AGES 12-18


Heat metal to a glowing red and then pound it into exciting shapes on an anvil, often depicted in movies with the making of swords and the shoeing of horses. In this workshop, students will hand forge a bracelet in three hours or a medieval looking clothing hook in four hours.
5 people min / 10 people max

Blacksmithing Multi-Day

Learn to bend and shape steel in The Crucible’s smithy as you practice traditional blacksmithing techniques such as drawing, bending, twisting, punching, slitting, and drifting using the forge and anvil. Students will learn to forge with confidence and complete projects such as a bracelet, hook, fork, and spoon.
5 people min / 10 people max


Discover the ancient art of fusing glass to metal. Students learn to fuse glass powders onto metal, usually copper or steel, to create a functional coaster. The glass powders can be transparent or opaque to create complex designs. No previous jewelry making, enameling, or metalworking experience necessary.
4 people min / 6 people max

Enameling Multi-Day

Discover the ancient art of fusing glass to metal. Students will learn about metal preparation and fabrication, kiln properties and methods for firing properties of enamel, and dry and wet application techniques. No previous jewelry making, enameling, or metalworking experience necessary.
4 people min / 6 people max

Foundry: Aluminum Sand Casting 

Learn how to cast aluminum shapes in sand molds. Using sand-carving techniques, participants create a mold with foundry sand. Molten aluminum is then poured into the mold to create a positive aluminum casting.
5 people min / 8 people max

Foundry: Adventures in Sand Casting

Learn the basics of metal casting, turning your ideas into cast-metal sculptures. Students will make a sculpture, create a mold in resin-bonded sand, then watch as molten aluminum is poured into their mold. Once cooled, they will open the mold to reveal their own unique, finished sculpture!
5 people min / 8 people max
3-hr workshop min / $42 per student per hour

Glass Cast Sculpture

Use clay and wax to create a positive form, such as a starfish, and then transform it into a glass sculpture. Students learn how to sculpt wax or clay and create molds using plaster and silica. Molten glass from a kiln will be poured into the molds, resulting in a clear or colored glass duplicate of the clay original.

4 people min / 8 people max

3-hour workshop min

Glass Flameworking

Create beautiful glass ornaments, pendants, marbles, and more! Students will learn how to use tools and equipment like an oxy-propane torch to melt and shape glass with confidence. A variety of techniques including color pulling and applying, color pattern application and marble making will be covered.

5 people min / 7 people max

Glass Flameworking Multi-Day

Discover flameworking, a type of hot glasswork. Students will learn to manipulate molten glass over a torch with confidence and create beautiful, unique marbles and figurines out of colored glass. Projects will vary with the instructor but can include bugs, creatures, plants, etc.

5 people min / 8 people max

Glass Fusing

Glass fusing is a technique with incredible potential for creating colorful imagery. Cut and shaped glass are assembled to create an image then melted together in a kiln.  In this workshop, students learn glass cutting and shaping skills to create a mosaic tile.

5 people min / 8 people max

Creatures in Fused Glass

Create a variety of creatures and habitats in both warm and cold glass. In this multi-day workshop, students learn how to cut, shape, and embellish glass using a variety of tools, molds and machines. 2D and 3D projects may include fused tiles, jewelry, treasure chests, wind chimes, cityscapes, toadstools, insects, and jellyfish. Students will be encouraged to choose projects based on their own interests.

5 people min / 10 people max

Metal Jewelry 

Make a fashion statement! Students will learn to anneal, cut, drill, hammer, and texture copper or bronze to create a charm, pendant or key chain, zipper pull or card holder.

5 people min / 10 people max

Exploration in Metal Jewelry 

Make a fashion statement! Using copper, silver and other nonferrous metals, students will learn jewelry and metal art skills such as filing, sanding, texturing, and polishing techniques. By the end of this exploration, each student will leave class wearing a jewelry creation of their own design.

5 people min / 10 people max

Leather Working

Students will learn to cut, pierce, fold, stitch, and stain leather.  Depending on the amount of time, cardholders, bracelets and even a wallet can be made.

5 people min / 8 people max

Leather Working Multi-Day

Learn techniques for working with leather including cutting, edging, stitching, dyeing, and oiling.  Students will also learn how to set rivets and add hardware like buckles, as well as design and safety issues.  Each student will make a belt and at least one bag upon completing this workshop.

5 people min / 8 people max

ARC Welding

Learn to fuse, cut, bend, and shape metal. This intensive introduction to stick welding (also known as ARC welding) and oxyacetylene torch cutting is taught by a technical pro. In-depth demonstrations and one-on-one guidance will be given on the safe and effective operation of welding equipment as students create a small welded sculpture or project.

5 people min / 12 people max

3-hour workshop min

MIG Welding/Plasma Cutting 

Students learn the basics of wire-feed welding that is typically used in the fabrication of furniture, light construction, and auto restoration. Plasma cutting is an amazing technique to cut out shapes in metal for negative space or pieces to be welded onto a larger metal project

4 people min / 7 people max

MIG Welding/Plasma Cutting Multi-Day

In this workshop, students learn the basics of MIG welding, plasma cutting, and grinding. Metal Inert Gas welding is the most common type of welding; used in blacksmithing, furniture fabrication, automotive shops, and light construction. Plasma cutting is an ultra-fast, clean, metal cutting method, allowing students to create free-form shapes as well as precision cutting.

4 people min / 7 people max


Students learn the safe use of a wood lathe in which raw wood is spun and chisels are used to shape the wood. In a three-hour workshop, a spinning top can be made. In three (or more) days of three-hour workshops, a hammer or candlesticks can be made.

3 people min / 5 people max

Woodturning Multi-Day

Using a lathe, you can turn a rough piece of wood into a beautifully shaped spindle or bowl.  In a jam-packed class you will learn the basics of the turning proces as you explore small bowl turning and spindle turning.  The class will cover tool usage and sharpening, as well as wood selection, preparation and finishing.

3 people min / 5 people max

FOR AGES 14-18

Frame Alteration: Art Bike

Customize your bicycle in this exciting workshop! Students learn basic fabrication skills in MIG welding, plasma cutting, grinding, and finishing to reconstruct their own bicycles. Frames will be stripped, and students will learn to redesign and alter handlebars, rims, seat posts, and frames to create unique look that will make them the talk of the neighborhood. Students are required to bring their own bicycle.

5 people min / 8 people max

20-hour min / $42 per student per hour

Glass Blowing

With supportive instruction in a team environment, students will learn to safely work with molten glass, gather glass from the furnace, apply colors, and shape and sculpt molten glass. Students should be prepared to work in the heat and will create a glass ornament or a solid and hollow pumpkin by the end of the workshop.

4 people min / 6 people max

6-hour min /$42 per student per hour

Glass Blowing: Multi-Day 

Students melt and reform glass using the glory hole, an opening in a furnace that keeps glass hot and workable. Many techniques for working with hot glass will be demonstrated including cane pulling, cane cups, “rollups,” and re-blowing bottles. Students will work in teams to form the glass and should be prepared for very hot work.

4 people min / 6 people max

6-hour min /$42 per student per hour

Hot Glass Sculpting

Participants learn the basics of hot glass sculpting (gathering, marvering, glass shaping). In a 5-hour workshop, participants can make a small pumpkin, flower, or similar item.

4 people min / 6 people max

5-hour min /$42 per student per hour

TIG Welding

TIG (tungsten inert gas) is a highly precise method of welding that makes clean and focused welds on everything from super-thing to very thick materials without losing the integrity of the metal. Students will get to work on a small figurine made out of bolts and miscellaneous scrap metal in a one-day workshop or a larger sculpture projects in a multi-day workshop.

4 people min / 7 people max

TIG Welding Multi-Day

TIG (tungsten inert gas) is a highly precise method of welding that makes clean and focused welds on everything from super-thin to very thick materials without losing the integrity of the metal. In this multi-day workshop, students will learn the basics of TIG welding by working with cold rolled steel and will be assigned sculpture projects that allow them to put their creativity and welding skills to use.

4 people min / 7 people max

Field Trips

We offer field trips four times during the school year (October, February, April, and June).  Groups of students visit The Crucible for an Open House type event, where students view a variety of industrial art demonstrations, usually for 1-2 hours.  The cost is $9/student. Email for more information about pre-scheduled field trips.

We can create a demonstrations only private field trip for your school. Groups of students view a variety of industrial art demonstrations for two hours.  The cost is $22/student, and is open for any available date. If you would like to include a 40-minute hands-on activity in copper metalsmithing to your two-hour field trip, costs are $42/student. Email for more info about customized field trips.

Special Projects

We highly recommend schools try a kick-starter fundraiser to support workshop projects.  If there is a project your students would like to create for your school premises, a group fundraising effort can support the design and build. We have worked with schools to create custom benches, gates, community totem poles, mascots, and more.  This collaborative experience bonds students together, while they learn new hands-on techniques and create a unique project that will be remembered forever by future generations of students.

McClymonds High School Frame Alteration Workshop

Each year, students from McClymonds High School participate in a bike hacking design challenge, and a small group is selected to come to The Crucible to bring the top ideas to life. Led by Crucible faculty and prior Pre-Apprentices, the students take part in a bike frame alteration workshop where they learn to cut, weld, grind, sand, and paint, using bike shop and metalworking tools.

The Girls Inc. Eureka Program Workshop

The Girls Inc. Eureka Program completed a workshop with The Crucible’s expert faculty to learn the industrial arts of welding, blacksmithing and oxy/acetylene torch cutting. The group of thirty girls created five beautiful metal platters, each platter exploring a different element of their motto: Strong, Bold and Smart. Four of the completed platters were then auctioned to support the Girls Inc. summer program during their annual fundraiser Women of Taste: Art for Epicure.

Gear Girls Welding Workshop

Each year, several female students from Oakland Tech High School complete a six-week welding workshop. The students learn the basics of ARC welding and oxy-acetylene torch cutting, while exploring the theme of self-identity and culture in the making of individual steel sculptures. The students write an artist statement and an essay about their experience learning how to weld and translating their ideas into art. The 2016 class was led by Crucible instructors Michelle Acosta and Katia Navidad Rallon, and assisted by Lizzie Uscanga—all women working in the arts and industry of welding. Oakland Tech High School teacher, Alicia Arnold, coordinated, encouraged, and supported the student’s creative learning process. This program is supported by the Oakland City Council and funded by the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program.

Cole Middle School Bench Workshop

Twelve Cole Middle School students visited The Crucible after-school, twice a week for five weeks, during which they designed and fabricated a bench for their school campus. Artists gave welding, blacksmithing, and woodworking demonstrations, followed by general and specific safety training. The students then designed and fabricated a bench, using their new knowledge. The installation of the bench took place during the school’s graduation ceremony as a celebration of Cole School and the potential for dynamic collaboration between West Oakland organizations.

City Slicker Farms Vegetable Cart Workshop

Youth from the West Oakland community, with the guidance of John McCormack, a Crucible woodworking instructor, designed and built a mobile vegetable stand forAnother huge success for West Oakland’s City Slicker Farm. The participating youth were involved in every step of the construction process, from drawing and layout to using their newly acquired woodworking and welding skills.

KIPP Bridge Charter School Wheelchair Ramp

Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a gift from John Chalsty, and the combined efforts of Crucible artists, staff, faculty, and community members, over 20 youth helped fabricate panels for a wheelchair accessible ramp at The Crucible. The workshop brought together project managers, educators, youth, community members, and artists who collaborated to design and construct the ramp’s railing and pictorial panels that incorporate the history of West Oakland, Oakland, and The Crucible. Under the guidance of Crucible artists, youth brought to fruition the decorative panels with MIG welding, plasma cutting, and finishing techniques.

To schedule a Youth Workshop or Group Class, please submit a