Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This is it!  This is what we drove all those miles to California to do!  We're taking the Metalworking Class at Sundance Glass Studio in Paradise, California today!  Wooooo-hoooo!  We are EXCITED!

There was so much to learn the first day.   Fabrication.  Cutting wires and metal pieces.  Doing some test welds just to learn about MIG welding, how to hold the welding torch, seeing through the welding mask.

For me, it was kind of scary using power tools because Phil hardly ever lets me use power tools.  Heck.  He hardly even ever lets me use a hammer, let alone power tools!

But, I got a few photos of Phil through the red plastic curtains around the welding area.  It's pretty hard to see through the curtain! 
Phil is setting up something in there to weld.

Our instructor, Mitch, is in this one - helping Phil set things up...

And here they are actually welding something.

Welp, if I ever wanted to weld anything, I need to fabricate what I was going to make.  So, I spent the rest of the time getting busy learning how to measure, and then how to use the huge radial saw thing to cut my steel rods.  And there was a special wire bending tool that I was trying to learn to use to make my signature "squiggles" out of metal.  I used a huge wheel thing to make some large curved wires for one of my pieces.

So by the end of the day, this is what I ended up with...

This was the beginning layout for my "red and black" piece (which hasn't got a title yet).  The plan was to attach another piece in the back to make a tripod type stand for it.

And a tentative layout for my "The Natives Are Restless" double pattern bar piece.

By the end of the day I wasn't sure if I felt a little better about being able to actually handle the cutting and designing of my pieces; but the sanding and welding part of making display stands for my art glass pieces, I wasn't sure.  I was feeling a little discouraged because Phil was already starting to weld his first piece and I was still just creating pieces.  Maybe he would end up being the welder and I'd be the creator.  I just didn't know.

I spent some time that night coming up with some other designs to work on if I got the time, and I tried to get Phil to come up with designs; but he was having a hard time with it.  

We went out for Mexican food at a recommended restaurant. While waiting for our meals at the restaurant, I looked over at the wall and saw a welded plant pot holder that reminded me of a project that Shannon was working on in the glass - something with a sun in it.  So, I took a photo of it for her.  

I thought it was interesting, too, that someone took the time to paint a Christmas cactus on a pole in the room. I've never seen a pole with such a painting on it before.

Phil and I spent some time talking about the class and what we were learning.  I realized that, at the rate I was already going and how much fun I was having putting stands together, I was definitely going to have to learn to do my own welding if I was ever going to be able to keep up with my designing and production of things.  I already had too many projects going for Phil to finish - and he doesn't have time to do everything.

I made up my mind.  Welding couldn't be any harder than learning to decorate cakes.  So I was just going to have to do it even though I wasn't sure I wanted to have all those sparks flying around at me.  It was scary, but I had to do it.

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