Monday, May 14, 2012

talk shop

Since the semester two weeks ago, I have been working at the welding shop everyday (the above photos is actually my dad's garage [yes, he has a lift in his garage] and not the welding shop) with my dad, my brother and my cousin. I spend a considerable amount of time with my family. And even my cousin, Joe, grew up down the street from us, so we were always together, 

and for years Joe and I worked together at a basket warehouse

but working in the welding shop with them is a completely different experience and I feel like I know them even better. Despite my brother's lack of social desire, he has always been extremely funny and witty, as are most of the people in my family. And I always knew he and my dad were really intelligent, but seeing the insane/amazing/functional pieces that the build out of metal is nothing short of mind blowing. For instance, yesterday I was cutting 3 in pieces of steel pipe for my brother because he was working on some kind of a tank. He had to add three additional threaded holes because pipes were going to be connected. But because of the water level within the tank, the holes, even though they were on different planes, all had to be perfectly even. 

When I sew, I have to do things like this, but I can pin the parts together, I can baste stitch to keep the pieces in place, then sew. But metal is not like that. There is no way to keep something stable and more often that not there is no way to clamp it. It has to be measured, held with a steady hand, then tacked, then welded. I could never, not in a million years, do this. This is something my dad taught my brother to do years ago and it took years for my brother to master. 

Nick also explained electric currents to me and its relationship to welding and some kinds of welding are really poisonous. this kind he had to do in the morning, with a gas mask on his face.

these images are all very interesting and terribly disconnected from my everyday world of arts and letters and looks and books. it is like learning a new language. and everyone keeps telling me i look like rosie the riveter. i don't mind.

No comments: