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West Oakland fired up at The Crucible

on March 23, 2014

The Crucible in West Oakland will commemorate 15 years of teaching community welding and other fire arts with an open house on April 12 to display the works of teachers, artists and students who use the space for creating public art.

Founded by sculptor Michael Sturtz  in Berkeley in January 1999, The Crucible moved to West Oakland in 2003. Guided by a small group that shared Sturtz’s vision of a new kind of industrial arts experience, The Crucible has grown to claim the title of the country’s largest non-profit industrial arts education facility.

By 2012, The Crucible had offered 400 evening and weekend workshops attended by 5,000 people, including summer programs that teach children and teens welding and blacksmithing.

Among its “firsts,” the Crucible sponsored the first Fire Arts Festival in 2004, the first installation of rooftop solar panels to defray electric costs in 2006, and the first fire ballet production of  ”Romeo and Juliet” in 2007. It also launched the first bicycle frame alteration (“hyphy bike”) workshop and the SPARC  youth program blending science with welding and metal working arts.

The Crucible is located at 1260 7th St., near West Oakland BART.

 For more information, go to or call 510.444.0919.


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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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