Fire Arts Festival
The Recap
Image Galleries

Summer Classes
Stars of Main Street
One Day Workshops
Classes for an Indian Summer
Family Fun Weekend
End of Summer Samplers

In the News
NEA Stimulus Grant
Surfacing – Enameling Society Conference

Save the Date
Fall Community Open House
Fall Quarter Registration

The Crucible Recommends
Raygun Gothic Rocketship
The Crucible’s Cathedral Gallery
YBCA’s Late Night Party
Art & Soul

Volunteer News
FAF Volunteers – You Rock!


FIRE ARTS FESTIVAL, extinguished…

The 9th Annual Fire Arts Festival has flamed out after 4 days of blazing glory in the new 10-acre Fire Arts Arena near the Port of Oakland. With over 35 installations, 23 performing groups, 18 merchandise vendors, 5 food vendors, 4 bars, miles of barricades and fencing, probably a million BTUs expended, over 1,300 volunteers, and over 12,000 people in attendance, this year’s Festival was the biggest ever!

The open air studios and demonstrations of Main Street drew people of all ages to see what the industrial arts are all about, and many got hands-on with ceramics, stone cutting, electronics, and more.

Many of the astounding art installations invited visitors to interact and control the action, while artists explained the physics and engineering behind their work – or just kicked the flames up higher for the awe-struck audience.

Dan Cantrell and company rocked the stage every night with The Rootabaga Opera – a visual feast of song, dance, puppetry and shadow effects that set the tone for all the amazing performers and musicians that followed.

Our Fire & Light Soiree and Art Auction was another scorching success! Hundreds of glamorous guests enjoyed a fabulous pre-Festival dinner followed by a spirited art auction which raised much-needed funds for The Crucible’s education programs.  Click here to view the Soiree photo gallery.

We are thrilled to have met our fundraising goals, which will enable us to continue to develop programs to serve our community and students of all ages.

Thanks to everyone who supported our arts education programs by coming to the 9th Annual Fire Arts Festival.





If you attended the Fire Arts Festival this year, you surely noticed the addition of The Crucible’s Main Street – an alfresco version of our 56,000 square-foot facility, where resident blacksmiths, glass artists, stone carvers, jewelers, woodworkers, neon & light artisans and fire performers demonstrated virtually every skill-set that can be learned at The Crucible.  We heard it said hundreds of times: “I’ve always wanted to try (insert fantasy skill here).” At The Crucible there are classes and instructors ready to show you how.


Art by Inferno Studios

Casting Wax to Silver – Weekend Intensive August 15-16
Learn the traditional lost wax casting process to create a model of wax, make a mold of it, and cast the form in metal; you’ll create at least one pendant or ring in silver. Perfect for romantic who would like to make your own wedding bands.

Sign up now…

Introduction to Glass Blowing – Weekend Intensive August 22 -23
Melt and reform glass using the glory hole, an opening in a furnace that keeps glass hot and workable.  You will work in teams to form the hot glass, and learn about cane pulling, cane cups, “rollups,” re-blowing bottles.  Come prepared for some very hot work!

Sign up now…

Fearless Fire Eating – Weekend Intensive August 22-23
Whether you want to conquer the elemental fear of putting a flaming torch in your mouth, or simply astound friends and family at your next BBQ, learn how to safely do it in one weekend. 

Sign up now…

Arduino Boards – Two Sessions,  August 15 and 22
Arduino is a microcontroller board that you can learn to use very quickly, to develop interactive objects, and control a variety of lights, motors, and other physical outputs.

Sign up now…


Intro to Sewing: a Crash Course – August 19
In just 4 hours get familiar with your sewing machine and learn how to use it and troubleshoot problems,  be introduced to various types of fabrics and get foolproof tips for sewing a straight seam and turning corners.

Sign up now…

Home Jewelry Studio Design – August 22
Learn how you can set up a work area in your own home that will be worthy of the projects you have in mind.  We’ll cover torch and tool selection, safety and ventilation requirements, and how to organize your space efficiently.

Sign up now…

Copyright Law for Artists – One-day Workshop August 8 or August 27
A Crucible artist and licensed California attorney will help you learn how to best protect your works from plagiarism, how to register your works, how to determine whether your work has been illegally copied, and what to do once you’ve determined that your copyright has been violated.

Sign up now…


BYOB – Build Your Own Barbecue – Aug 31-Aug Sep 4: Love to BBQ? Here’s a chance to show off your welding skills and have fun building your own monster BBQ – similar to the one you saw at Fire Arts Festival. Interesting creature designs are encouraged. The class will focus on reuse of materials, and we’ll fire up a BBQ or two on the last day of class to celebrate!

Sign up now…

Adult Summer Workshops – August 24-28:
Take a summer “Make-ation” with a five-day workshop where you can choose a skill and get your make on!  All classes are entry level and you’ll come away from the week with a lot more than a summer tan and big credit card bill.  

Introduction to Blacksmithing, Glass Flameworking, Introduction to Jewelry & Metals, Introduction to Mechanical Sculpture, Electromechanics for Everything, Introduction to Welded Sculpture, or Beginning Woodworking.

Sign up now…

Family Fun Weekend – August 22-23:
Grab someone you love and learn something new in just two days at one of these entry-level classes. When you take these classes with a family member, you’ll receive discounted tuition. These same classes are also available to solo learners at regular rates.

Introduction to Jewelry & Metal: Learn the simple skills of sawing, filing, sanding, soldering, texturing, annealing, stamping, polishing, safety, and design; you’ll make technical samples you can use for future reference as well as a sterling silver ring.

Introduction to Blacksmithing: Learn the fundamental skills needed to forge steel, how to use blacksmithing tools, and introduces tapering, upsetting, flattening, dishing, and bending of hot steel. You will make small projects such as spoons, knives, forks, and bottle openers.

Introduction to Welded Sculpture: This is a great class for beginners. You’ll learn to join pieces of metal using arc welding (also known as stick welding), how to slice through metal with the hot flame of an oxyacetylene, torch and to use power and hand tools to finish your work.

Introduction to MIG Welding: MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is relatively clean, versatile and efficient. Plasma cutting is an ultra-fast, clean, metal cutting method, which allows the user to create free-form shapes as well as precision cutting. In this class, you’ll learn the basics of MIG welding, plasma cutting and grinding

Beginning TIG Welding: TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding makes clean and focused welds on everything from super thin to very thick materials. A TIG expert can weld any metal that can be welded and can even join dissimilar metals. You will learn the basics of TIG welding by working with stainless steel; you’ll also learn how to use the plasma cutter and a variety of shop sheet metal tools. 

Glass Flameworking: Create beautiful glass ornaments, globes, perfume bottles, pendants, tube beads, marbles, and more! You’ll use an oxy-propane torch to melt glass and shape it.

Woodturning: Learn how to use a lathe to turn a rough piece of wood into a beautifully shaped object. The class covers tool use and care, wood selection, preparation and finishing.

Introduction to Neon – Sundays 8/23 & 8/30
Illuminate your life with this introductory course in the fabrication and application of neon in a sculptural context. Students will have the opportunity to complete an illuminated project.

Sign up now…

End of Summer Samplers – September 19-20
Get a taste of creating with fire and light in special 3-hour classes where you learn basic skills and make art of your own on a budget.  You can learn two different skills in one day – or four in a weekend if you’re really ambitious.   We’re sure you’ll come back for more once you get started.  Open to youth ages 12 and up if registered with a parent.

Choose from: Blacksmithing, Glass Flameworking, Glass Fusing, Jewelry, MIG Welding, Sand Casting, Resin Casting

Sign up now…



The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded $50,000 to The Crucible as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant will support the preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn. We are so grateful for the support of the NEA and honored to be among 631 nonprofit organizations (99 in California) that received a total of nearly $29.8 million. To read the full list of grantees, please visit the NEA website.

Grants from government agencies such as the NEA account for less than 3% of The Crucible’s annual income. We also count on individual donors to support our Fire Arts Festival and Fire Ballets, as well as free community programs, bike programs geared toward West Oakland youth, and industrial art education programs for students of all ages. Click the button below to make a 100% tax deductible donation to The Crucible Fund. Gifts of all sizes are needed and appreciated.

Surfacing – The Enamelist Society Conference
August 4-12

We are pleased to host the Enamelist Society’s 2009 conference this year.  The conference is open to anyone; pre-conference workshops run August 4- 6, main speakers and exhibitions run August 7-9, with post-conference workshops running August 10-12.  Topics include discussions on cloisonne, sheet metal techniques, raku fired enamels, industrial art enameling, and more. For more information call 510-526-3668 or visit


Fall Community Open House & Student Art Show

Saturday, September 12th – 12-4PM

It’s almost time to throw open the doors to our studio for the annual Fall Community Open House and Art Show.  This is a great time to come get acquainted and see what’s new at The Crucible.  Enjoy demonstrations, performances, an art show of student work, and an expo of community organizations and services that serve Oakland.  Bring the family and come celebrate community, arts and industry! It’s FREE fun for all.

More info…

Open Registration for Fall Classes begins August 11th. If you don’t have a Fall Schedule of classes, you can download one here.


Going to the Playa?  Be sure to check out Crucible Event Coordinator, Sean Orlando’s Raygun Gothic Rocketship!  Described as a rococo retro-futurist future-rustic vernacular between yesterday’s tomorrow and the future that never was, a critical kitsch somewhere between The Moons of Mongo & Manga Nouveau – it’s gotta be seen to be believed.  You can help launch the project with a donation (or just learn more) at

The Crucible’s Cathedral Gallery
Oakland’s newest and most unique gallery space is located in the lobby of the historic Cathedral Building, at the triangle between Broadway and Telegraph Avenues in downtown Oakland.   The gallery reflects the immense pool of talented artists working in the East Bay and showcases sculptural art using techniques taught here at The Crucible. 

The gallery is staffed from 6 to 9PM on the first Friday of each month in conjunction with Art Murmur, on third Thursdays from 3 to 9PM; and every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 6PM.

What’s the Big Idea? LATE NIGHT PARTY
Sat, Aug 15, 2009, 9 pm—2 am
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission @ 3rd in SF


Before heading off to Burning Man, join Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for What’s the Big Idea? Late Night Party!

Turn up the heat with the Cuban surf rock band The Cuban Cowboys, tribal shimmy by Mezklah, spellbinding rhythms of Kulintronica, outrageous performances by Mama Calizo and the Voice Factory and the KPFA DJ all-stars spinning fury and bliss in the galleries.

Witness Burning Man altar master Shrine and collaborator Star as they build a sacred Bird House, YBCA’s exhibition Wallworks, screenings of outrageous short films, and cheap drinks and eats by Farmer Brown and Little Skillet. Plus free limited edition tattoos!

More information and to RSVP…

Art & Soul Downtown Oakland
August 15-16th
New Weekend – Same Great Festival

Enjoy a weekend of world-class music, dance, food, and art at this festival that has something for just about everyone.

Line-up & more info…


A huge thank you to the many, many volunteers who gave their time and energy to help make this year’s Fire Arts Festival a scorching success.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

Learn more about volunteering…


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