The Crucible is an industrial arts collective that offers courses in both old world trades and brand new arenas. Here one can learn anything from becoming a blacksmith to how to be a daredevil fire dancing performer.
The Crucible’s class schedule is like no other, including courses in bicycle building, welding, glass blowing, jewelry, woodworking and textiles. They have a foundry for blacksmiths and shop spaces for welding—in fact, most of their courses involve the use of fire in some way. Since they have a loose affiliation with many artists who create for the Burning Man project, this attraction to kinetic arts and fire makes perfect sense.
The Crucible is a non-profit education center so once or twice a year they show off their talents in an attempt to boost registration and funds. They put on a Fire Arts Collective extravaganza, complete with 30-ft tall flaming sculptures and fire performance in the empty lot close by or they throw in house events like fashion shows and fire operas that showcase all of the courses they offer. They also rent studio space for their alumni, offering a place to work without having to set up your own shop for a fraction of the cost.
Know Before You Go
The Crucible is easily accessible by BART. From the West Oakland BART Station, exit onto 7th Street, turn right and walk 2 blocks east to Union (at the 2nd light). The Crucible is on the northwest corner of 7th & Union, at 1260 7th Street.