If you’ve ever dreamed of learning the creative art of welding, blacksmithing, woodworking, glass blowing, enameling, ceramics, jewelry making, dancing with fire, pouring bronze, or other industrial arts, The Crucible is for you! We offer a variety of class formats in 20+ areas of study.
Whether you are just beginning to explore your creativity or you are an experienced artist, the classes in this department are designed to assist. Our workshops help you understand the basic properties of materials, navigate copyright law, and get your work professionally photographed.
Classes in our Bike Shop help keep your ride on the road—whether it’s a motorcycle or a pedal bike you use for everyday transportation, an art bike or car you are 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!
Learn how to heat steel in a forge and shape it with a hammer, anvil and chisel. Crucible blacksmithing courses teach smithing operations such as drawing, shrinking, bending, upsetting and punching, so you can make pieces of your own. Advanced classes introduce you to the power hammer, bladesmithing, forge welding, and ornamental ironwork.
Clay is a material rich in history and possibilities for art making. The Crucible offers a unique place to learn the different ceramic building techniques of pinching, coiling, and using slabs, in addition to press molds and slip casting with plaster molds. Students have the opportunity to explore different glazing techniques in low fire, high fire, and other firing alternatives, such as raku firing. Functional tableware, vessels, sculpture, installations, and mixed media—the possibilities in ceramics are endless for youth and adults.
Enameling is the colorful result of fusing powdered glasses to metal, using high heat to form a durable vitreous coating. The first enamels date to the 6th Century BC, in ancient Cyprus. At The Crucible, we teach both traditional and experimental application techniques, onto various metals. Students make objects ranging from fine cloisonné jewelry to large-scale steel sculptures and wall pieces.
Fire has always been a powerful, mythic element for humans. It has played a significant role in our history and molded our very way of life. 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 the fire rope dart.
Casting metal is a 6,000-year-old process still used in both manufacturing and fine art. The founder melts metal (usually aluminum, bronze and cast iron) in a crucible, pours it into a mold, then removes the mold material or the casting once the metal has cooled and solidified. In our classes, beginners learn the chemistry and basic steps that go into making a piece of cast metal, while advanced classes explore the intricacies of casting and metal finishing.
Melt and reshape glass in the intense heat of a kiln to create art pieces or practical objects like plates and bowls. Individual classes teach you to combine colors, paint on glass, and incorporate recycled materials to create beautiful and ecologically sound art.
Learn the skills and techniques in a variety of methods, from traditional metalsmithing and fabrication, to casting metal using the lost wax method, setting gemstones or shaping modern resin and clay. Our classes allow you to create original pieces of jewelry or small sculpture, expand your knowledge of specific techniques, or even make your own tools and design a home studio!
The possibilities of integrating movement and sound with artwork are endless: wind-powered mobiles, motorized robots, art cars, flaming sculptures, and more. The Kinetics & Electronics department focuses on mechanical and electronics-based movement to help you create dynamic and interactive artwork. Whether you want to create large-scale Rube Goldberg contraptions or tiny robots that literally have minds of their own, these classes will help you take your creations to the next level. Learn about motors, how to program microchips, where to find components, and how to (safely) set your work on fire!
Learn the secrets of machining to drive sharp cutting tools using lathes, milling machines and drill presses—and make precise, accurate cuts. Machining is used on engines, bicycles, appliances, kinetic or mechanical projects, and much more. Our machine shop has lab time available for new students to perfect their machining skills and for experienced workers to work on personal projects.
Molds are used to produce everything from objects of art to kitchen sinks—both as a step in unique original creations and to make multiples. When you have a three-dimensional piece to duplicate, creating the right type of mold from the original is the first step. Whether you work large or small, in metal, resin, plastic or glass, our moldmaking classes give you a great foundation and teach you which technique and which materials to use for the best results.
Radiant light technology greatly expands the possibilities for light design, whether incandescent, fluorescent, neon, LED, plasma or electro-luminescent (EL) wire. Our classes introduce and explain techniques, tools, properties and adaptability of these materials. Illuminated projects can either stand alone or be combined with many of the other processes taught at The Crucible.
The Crucible’s stone working classes teach the skills you will need to carve stone, sculpt it into vibrant and organic art pieces, mold it into furniture, and even cast concrete counter tops. Learn traditional hand-carving techniques and how to work with pneumatic tools, as well as how to design and shape different materials.
Joining metal with heat is a fabrication process used since the Bronze Age, and new technology develops continually. The Crucible teaches beginning and advanced classes in four different kinds of welding: oxy-acetylene 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 sample all four types in our Exploring Welding class.
The Crucible’s woodworking courses teach you to use hand tools and power tools, to carve and turn wood, and to apply this knowledge to your own projects. Students become familiar with different types of woods, appropriate techniques for working with them, and gain an understanding of basic furniture-making and cabinetry design.