Voice over

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A change in focus?

As I continue to look at this project, I keep seeing things differently. And sometimes these different views start to conflict with old ideas. Mainly: should I change focus to Carla Hall? I was originally going to talk about the Crucible itself, and use Carla as an expert to talk about the school. But I’m starting to wonder if I should just make it about her. Its something I just started mulling around in my head, but its defiantly something that needs more consideration.

What is a Crucible?

A crucible is a container built specifically to hold burning hot material such as molten glass and metal. Originally, they were made from ceramic clays to melt and poor bronze.


As more durable metals were discovered, such as iron, crucibles were fashioned out of thick metals to withstand the heat. Crucibles are still used in modern foundries, though in larger scale. 5205904395_9cf86c201f_o

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Founding the Foundry

In 1997, Michael Sturtz brought together a small collection of artists in hopes of building a supportive community-based school.  With a  grant for $1,750 and  $20,000 personal investment loan,  The Crucible doors opened on January 15th, 1999.  By March, The Crucible began its first session of eleven classes, six of which were taught by Michael himself. Under Michael’s leadership and with the generous support of donors, foundations, volunteers, and members, The Crucible has thrived and grown to become the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the United States.After twelve years as The Crucible’s founder and executive director, Michael  moved on in search of new creative challenges and opportunities.


Micheal Strutz Innovation by design

Carla Hall: Blacksmith

When I first wrote to the Crucible and  asked to make a film about one of their instructors, I was afraid I would be turned away. Instead, Carla Hall returned my email, enthusiastic about my idea. She has been extraordinarily helpful in getting this project off the ground and I am very excited to work with her. Bellow are some pictures of her work from her website, as well as a link to the site itself.

Carla Hall Metal Design

Setting the Stage (on fire)

The Crucible is not only a school for teaching industrial art, it is a breading ground for unparalleled creativity and ambitious creation. Nothing is a better example of that than the Crucible’s stage work. They have preformed five different plays:

  • Jan 2009: Dracul, Prince of Fire
  • April 2008: Firebird: “L’oiseau de feu”
  • Jan 2007: Romeo and Juliet
  • Jan 2006: Seven Deadly Sins
  • Jan 2004: DidoO and Aeneas by Henry Purcell

Bellow are short videos showing two of the five.

Dracul, Prince of Fire

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Romeo and Juliet

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The Modern Blacksmith

Blacksmithing  is an ancient trade, but that doesn’t mean it is a thing of the past just yet. Bellow is a video that not only helped rekindle my interest in blacksmithing, but also demonstrates the tools and techniques of the modern blacksmith. Beyond that, it’s also a pretty amazing build.

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Fiery Fassion

Here are a few shots from the 2015 Hot Couture flaming fashion show, hosted at the Crucible. I think it gives a representation of the creativity in the school.

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