Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I signed up for Metal Art for Beginners because I've always been intrigued by metal sculptures. My mind simultaneously holds two thoughts when I see something I like: "Hey, that's fascinating," and "How hard could that be?" I decided to find out for myself. So for a hundred dollars I signed up for a class that promised that I would leave the class with a piece of yard art. Sounds lofty, but between my house and the metal shop there are at least fourteen people who believe that tire planters are yard art.

The class is 30 miles away in a very rural county and is held in the metal shop of an alternative learning high school. The place is dirty, and ill kept as if everyone has given up on the building and its occupants. Our instructor said that he's seen students making weapons in class. He said the teacher tried to kick the weapon makers out of class but the the parents complained and so the kids returned. The teacher said he'd quit but that out of the twenty kids in class (20 kids with torches and blades!) there are about three who are worth going to work for. Unless one of them is the next Holly Fisher,(That's her work on the right.) I worry that he's just desperate for a paycheck.

Our first functional welding project: a third hand (It helps hold vertical pieces of metal while welding. One of the guys in my welding class also said that the third hand could be used to hook a slaughtered pig and hang it up off the slaughterhouse floor. Good to know.) Also in photos: an example of my awesome welding skills. Anyone got a lawn mower that needs fixing?

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