Yesterday was the first time I used the metal shop at 3rd Ward for more than practice. There is a small alcove in the studio on the third floor of our house that we've wantwd to “fill-in” as it were with seating and storage. The alcove is seven feet (around two meters). We wanted to span that entire space so that a rolled up carpet and futon could be easily slid under and put away.
Michael’s design called for three U shape spans 7’ wide x 18” high. I used metal band saw to cut 45 miters and then pieced it together weld by weld. Some of the earlier welds were not exactly what I would call “text book perfect”, but once ground completely serviceable for my needs.
Yesterday both of the guys that I’m taking class with were there working on their own projects. It was funny to observe how both of them offered advice. It reminded me of something. In the early 90’s I was a working performance artist that collected odd jobs to make ends meet. One year I was hired by Macy’s to work in the costume shop for the Thanksgiving Day parade. Think about it, each of those balloon handlers has to have a costume, which is a lot costumes.
I worked with a woman who at the time was probably in her mid fifties. The most competent seamstress I’ve ever known. I once drove an industrial machine over my thumb piercing the meat and breaking the needle in one stroke. Upon hearing the noise she cried out, “broke the bone!” but in her consummate professional way finished the seam she was working on before looking up to offer motherly assistance.
She always had an interesting way of offering advice. First she would ask what I was working on, then how/if I had done it before, and then how she had done like things. In the metal shop the guys want to offer technical advice without ever asking what it is you’re making. I find the lady’s Socratic approach far more effective.