Metal and Glass Instructor and Hot Wheels Area Head
Michael Sturtz is the founder of the The Crucible and former Executive Director. Michael established The Crucible in 1999 as a venue to teach industrial arts in a truly creative and noncompetitive learning environment. During his 12 years as Executive Director, Michael nurtured what began as an idea and $1,750 seed grant into the largest nonprofit industrial arts educational facility in the nation.
Michael grew up dissecting road kill and then observing his father, an orthopedic surgeon, in the operating room. Michael also spent time tinkering with machines and rebuilding cars in his stepfather’s auto body shop. As a result, he developed a fascination for the hidden mechanics of everyday forms. Michael found early success as a sculptor, architectural metal worker, and product designer, earning his BFA from Alfred University School of Art and Design and his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Additionally, he studied stone carving at Studio de Sem Ghelardini, Pietrasanta, Italy.
His sculptures address both concept and form through intriguing kinetic machines and strong material contrasts that include creative mixtures of stone, cast and fabricated metals, glass, kinetics, light, fire, liquid and video–often blending mechanical and biological forms.
Michael retired from The Crucible on its 12th anniversary in January, 2011 to seek out new creative challenges, and has found them at Stanford University. Michael accepted the position of Project Director of ReDesigning Theater with a teaching appointment in the Mechanical Engineering Design Group
He teaches at Stanford’s design school applying the design thinking process to spearhead a new artistic genre of live performance appealing to the 21- to 35-year-old demographic. Michael also teaches electric motorcycle user experience design at Stanford’s Automotive Innovation Facility.