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Vulcan Studios

Contortionists, musicians, and fire spinners commingle.

Sarah Keeney is a vertical dancer who has trained with Project Bandaloop. She also travels the world on stilts with a theater company called the Carpetbag Brigade.

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A lot of people at Vulcan play music, but not all of them actually make money at it. Adam Hughes plays in two bands, Lil Elephant and the Straight Ups.

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Andrew Sharp is a sideshow stuntman. He's been teaching himself to escape from a straitjacket, which is a crazy thing to watch. He lives with a girl who's a really famous hoola hooper.

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Andrew Sharp escapes.

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We live with Christian "Dicky" Davies, who has a painting studio downstairs. The cats are always lurking on absurdly high structures and sleeping in inappropriate places.

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This is our housemate, Kelly Bechtold. She makes awesome leather bags under the label Girl on a Motorcycle.

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Ben Lewry builds electric guitars for rock stars. He's made custom guitars for Steve Stevens of Billy Idol; Mike Gordon of Phish; and Ricky Tillo of Lady Gaga.

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Helena Martin and I are married and have a wedding photography business together. She's been at Vulcan for seven years now.

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Oakland band Sun Hop Fat plays Ethiopian jazz music. They practice in bass player Jesse Toews's unit.

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There are a lot of circus jugglers here: jugglers, fire spinners, contortionists. Many of them perform for kids to pay the rent.

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Bri Crabtree is a professional juggler and unicyclist.

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Check out the slideshow above for a tour of Vulcan Studios.

Tour 1: Cotton Mill Studios
Pole dancing teachers, surrealist collages, hearts of metal, and more. Text and images by Joshua LaCunha  

Tour 2: Vulcan Studios
Contortionists, musicians, and fire spinners commingle. Text and images by Helena and Laurent Martin 

Tour 3: Dutch Boy Studios
A former paint factory turns its quirky nooks to good use. Text and images by Michelle Bassler

Tour 4: Oakland Cannery
Where woodworking, screen-printing, and plywood painting align. Text and images by Eddie Colla

 

 

Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco.

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