Welding

As part of the recent Christmas celebration in Germany, I learned that their word for welding is “schweißen” (schveye-ssen), as Patrick’s grandfather works metal as a hobby. This came in handy over the weekend, as my dad and I took a welding workshop all day Saturday at the Rochester Arc + Flame Center.

We got a lecture on safety, did some practice welding in straight lines, and then they turned us loose on their bins of scrap metal. Here’s what I made:

Study in squares wall sculpture
Study in squares wall sculpture
Side view
Side view

My intention is to hang this up somewhere it’ll get sunshine (when I’m in a sunnier apartment) so that it will hopefully cast interesting shadows on the wall.

Side view
Side view

I also made a tabletop candle holder. I got a votive candle which fits perfectly, but I still need to buy tapers to make sure they fit as well. I’m pleased with the way it came out – but I couldn’t find more than one solid disk to put on the bottom, so when I burn these candles down to the bottom for the first time, it will be an adventure in hot wax.

Study in circles candle holder
Study in circles candle holder

The votive fits in the larger circle in the back right, and I’m hoping to put two tapers where the springs are. I added the springs because I was worried that the solid metal tubes would be too wide by themselves – I’m still not sure if they’ll fit, but at least I can adjust the springs later.

I thought it was definitely cool to learn how to weld (a plasma cutter is a truly awesome thing to wield), but I kind of doubt that I’m likely to ever do it again. Making things out of other people’s trash was interesting, since we as beginners all thought ourselves awesome for what we could make, and the instructors probably thought it was amusing considering we were only using other peoples’ cast-off metal. For myself, I didn’t cut anything except about three of the circular slices, and that was with the circular saw. My pieces aren’t terribly complicated, but I really like taking a bunch of the same geometric shape and arranging them to get contrast through scale.

Anyway, I’d definitely recommend trying the workshop, as the people were friendly and I imagine it’s a rare opportunity that you get to learn to weld in a day and get to take home your own creations.

2 Responses to “Welding”

  1. Nate
    | Reply

    Fascinating. I had no idea such a thing existed around here (though I suppose it doesn’t surprise me much). It looks like it might be fun to try sometime.

    • ellen
      | Reply

      Yeah, I think there are so many craftspeople graduating from RIT that the area is sort of saturated not only in what things they create, but also the community they surround themselves with, and this is one of those sort of things that they can do besides just make things.

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