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Yesterday was the first day of The Crucible’s annual Fire Arts Festival in Oakland, Calif. We were there representing with the MAKE vintage fire truck. Even though an evening chill descended as the sun set and the fog rolled in, there was no shortage of fire to keep us all warm. Pictured above is one of my favorite attractions, which was positioned just to the left of our truck. It’s Nate Smith’s amazing Fire Vortex, a tornado of flame that can reach up to 60 feet in height. I loved watching the people manning the Vortex in their silver suits reminiscent of 1950s sci-fi movies. I think this artist statement from Smith gives great insight into fire arts in general:

The making of fire art often relies on the ability to transcend instinctual fear. So profound is our relationship to fire, that the mere presence of flame is usually enough to incite a deep anthropological reaction that draws the viewer unwittingly to both fear and fascination. The art of working with fire is the ability to transport the viewer to something beyond basic instinctual recognitions and toward a deep awareness of the immense beauty which fire naturally possesses.

Directly across from us were two of Charlie Gadeken‘s stunning fire sculptures, the lotus and the heart:

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We will have our truck and fun wares set up through Saturday, July 18th. Come on by, say hello, check out our toys, try out the Brain Machine, and make an LED throwie or two with us!

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All the information you need, including a full list of stage performers and installation artists, is available on The Crucible site. And more images from yesterday are available on Sherry Huss’ Flickr stream. Hot!

Goli Mohammadi

I’m senior editor at MAKE and have worked on MAKE magazine since the first issue. I’m a word nerd who particularly loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon as a whole. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for the ideal alpine lake or hunting for snow to feed my inner snowboard addict.

The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. The specific beat I cover is art, and I’m a huge proponent of STEAM (as opposed to STEM). After all, the first thing most of us ever made was art.

Contact me at goli (at) makermedia (dot) com.


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