There were plenty of flame-seekers from the 415 who flitted over the 510 for The Crucible’s Fire and Light Soiree. The annual dinner-art auction- fire circus drew a loyal and eclectic crowd in support of this innovative workshop studio school and its community programs for underserved youth.Fire is the unifying theme of The Crucible for glassblowers, welders, blacksmiths, knife forgers, jewelry makers, bronze pourers who use the 50,000 square foot facility for classes and workshops taught at every skill level, from clueless to connoisseur. Are enthusiasts and pyros were not disappointed by the auction lineup of 22 flame-kissed artworks up for bid, and the postprandial metaphorical/literal hot saucy circus performed by the talented tightrope-and-twist troupe Lucent Dossier. The Crucible’s central warehouse, normally reserved for arc welding, was transformed into a performance space, complete with fire-ring chandelier and white-hot propane puffers which forced jets of flame over the dinner served by Grace Street Catering. Talk about space heaters! Overhead, acrobats dangled dangerously close to tongues of flame, which made the absence of a net the lesser threat. But a little danger, a bit of burlesque, a lot of liquor, and an overabundance of enthusiasm makes for a festive fundraiser, and this one made the centigrade… up to a white-hot 100 degrees.
Toasting their toes and basking in the throes: Top-hatted Crucible Executive Director Steve Young and his wife Gabrielle Kunszel, longtime supporters Pasha and Laney Thornton, Oakland Museum Chief Curator Philip Lintares, conductor Barnaby Palmer whose January plans include a fire opera chez Crucible, Leah and Jerry Garchik,, Piccino restauranteur Margareta Sagan with ceramicist/architect hubby Loring, Cindy Molton, a whole passel of folks who know a few things about Burning, including Larry Harvey, Marian Goodell, Harley Dubois, Will Chase, Affinity Mingle and Monkey Boy, Democratic do-gooder Alex Rosenthal, Pixar pooh-bah Loren Carpenter and his enthusiastic wife Rachel, April and Paul Bucheit, Leslie Pritchett, Board President Jeremy Crandell, Joseph Olivier, Charles Olson, auctioneer and photographer Durwood Zedd, copper craftsman Gregg Hessell, Nick Morgan, superwelder Joe Theriault, TomasMcCabe of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, Rae Richman, Annette Campbell-White and Ruediger Naumann-Edienne, Amie and Edward Kangeter, Laura Berryman and Todd Koons, Drea and Chad Lester, and many others who made the hot list.Images courtesy of Ed Jay Photography.
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