I was in a “yes” mood when a friend suggested I take a metal sculpture class with her. At the time I signed up, I was just looking for occupations while I took a break from theater work. By the time the second class rolled around, my relationship had just dissolved like wet Kleenex and my life was in the process of complete collapse.
In that horrifically sad time, I discovered that nothing in my life was as soothing as welding. The heat, the intense concentration, the sheer pyromaniacal joy of using a torch to melt steel — it all gave me the boost of confidence and satisfaction that I needed to survive.
My first project was this metal table, custom-built to fit over the arm of my sofa. I designed it specifically for the apartment my not-yet-ex and I were living in, where the end of the sofa butted right up against the entryway, leaving no room for a table on that end. I feel strongly that every seat in the living room should be accompanied by a spot to put a drink, so I started this.
Now, of course, having given up some of my furniture to move in with the ex, I no longer have enough furniture on my own to furnish an apartment, and my lovely roommate has almost no furniture at all. So the original point — saving space — is kind of lost, but it’s still a sturdy little table. I measured everything very conscientiously and yet there are still imperfections, which is a lesson about steel I still have yet to really get my head around — when it’s hot, it will shift and settle in totally unexpected ways.
But I caught the bug. Now every time I can’t find or afford a piece of furniture, I think, could I weld that? I’ll certainly never buy an end table or a metal shelf again. Although the raw steel can get pricey when you’re buying larger pieces of welding steel. Continue Reading →