I had a really cool opportunity recently to take two workshops (a total of three days) from a local welder/sculptor/artist named Travis Carter. His shop is in Greenwood, DE. You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And he offers these workshops for people who are interested in learning to weld for artistic purposes. Here’s the flyer:
I did work in a machine shop almost 15 years ago, but I didn’t have any previous welding experience. I used to use an oxy-acetylene setup to soften up hardened set screws so I could drill holes in them, that’s about the closest I had to welding experience. We had a MIG/TIG welder over on the other side of the shop, and the extent of my involvement with that was knowing not to look at it. So I was pretty much starting with a blank slate on the first day. For the Intro to Metalworking and Welding class, it’s a limit of two people per class, so my husband did that one too.
Here’s my proof of process – my first try at welding! We brought welding gloves with us, which we picked up cheap at Harbor Freight. All the other safety gear was included in the workshop – safety glasses, welding helmet, etc… The helmets were pretty nifty. The lens blacks out as soon as the light from the welder starts, so you can still see, but you don’t go blind. I’m a big fan of not going blind.
Here’s what we practiced on first. It took a few tries before any came out looking this good.
Me holding my first reasonably good weld up. Cheesy, I know.
Grinding the rust off of a piece of scrap steel that I pulled out of Travis’s stash to use as the base for my first sculpture.
This was my favorite photo of the day, took it with my phone (that’s my husband) and ran it through Instagram. Oh, right, I have an Instagram now. You can find me as the screen name phaseolus lunatus, since I think I created an account with LOTE and then forgot the password before I ever used it.
And here it is, my first project! This was all made from scrap steel Travis had available for us to use. My husband made one, too.
So that was day one. And we had some yummy food, too. Travis and his wife, Anna, are both great cooks! More about the other two days of workshops I did with Travis later, or you can check out my Facebook page or my Instagram for a sneak preview.