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Fire artists to light up Bay Area fest

An annual collection of some of the best-known fire artists in the world gather in Oakland, Calif., this week.

For fans of fire art, there's probably no better place to be for the next few days than Oakland, Calif.

That's because The Crucible, a center teaching classes in all kinds of metalwork, soldering, sculpture and everything in between is hosting its sixth annual Fire Arts Festival.

A collection of many fire artists who may be best known for performances at Burning Man (including many who got their starts at The Crucible before going to the desert) will gather Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to show off their stuff, engage newcomers to the genre and generally delight those in attendance. And while some of the artists will appear on multiple evenings, The Crucible says each night will be different.

The festival begins Thursday with a special evening of performance and fire art. Tickets for the so-called Fire & Light Art Auction Soiree run $100 for Crucible members and $125 for others. Tickets for Friday and Saturday nights are $25 for members and $30 for others.

The festival was scheduled to open Wednesday night with members of Burning Man's art curation department on hand to showcase some of the best projects expected to appear at this year's version of the famous countercultural arts festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

Despite the appearance of some of the best-known Burning Man artists, the Crucible's festival is not a Burning Man operation. Indeed, Burning Man's organizers held their own fire arts celebration, the Fire Arts Exposition in San Francisco in May.