MEET UP TO ORGANIZE FOR NO TANKERS


As a recently certified welder, I have been thinking deeply about my own choices of what kind of work I want to apply for. I am certified as a ‘structural welder’ by the Canadian Welding Bureau which boasts the highest standards when it comes to structural welding. I can choose to work with any small or large company that have need for welders to weld things together for good!

For example, I have applied to work as a welder for maintenance of BC Ferries, another example would be working with Marine Worker’s Union No.1 for a company that belongs to under the banner of Seaspan. Working in the shipyards would be a unique experience and one that I would welcome. Everyday in the news we hear about Port Expansion and development, I am learning about these issues, about our economy and where the jobs are for British Columbians.

There are three reasons I chose to go into welding. To use the skill of welding in the field of art, to apply it to creating public art and to work with other artists. The second reason I chose it is to have the ability to make more than ‘the living wage’ (which is 18.00/hr). The third and last reason, is that I wanted to challenge myself personally, to learn a practical skill that I could build on and get better at by practice. I look forward to working within the marine environment and hope to use the certification that I worked hard to attain. 

I am supporting the Dogwood Initiative because I will be a part of helping to conserve and preserve the Fraser River Estuary, the wetlands and marshes, and the coastline in general. I have decided that conservation is more important than development and prosperity. At the same time, I think that we can have a decent balance between the two. In the weeks ahead up to election day, I hope to have ongoing conversations with friends, neighbours and co-workers to further educate myself and continue to consider the near future, to understand what expansion and development means for BC’s coastline, so I can make informed choices for my livelihood for the environment and future generations.

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The calming affect of light

Not in any particular order I am almost finished reading Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coehlo, while waiting for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson to come out in paperback.

Out on the coffee table is Metropolis (original short stories) Edited by John Scalzi, I read The Red in the Sky is our Blood by Elizabeth Bear an interesting primer to the film I saw the last week, The Greenhorns. Last but not least Captive by Donalda J. Reid, oh…. and I might have another go at The Life of Pi by Yann Martel because Colin Wright of ‘Blue Canoe and Galiano Island Inn Fame’, highly recommends it and because I am partial to Tigers, Ligers and Lions—well cats in general!

I put books out hoping to pick them up in between working at two jobs and being with my boys. Add to this my modules on welding and I have my reading list for the rainy days ahead.

I am telling you the truth when I write that often the sky out here is looking like a painting by J. M. W. Turner (1775-1881).

I chose this one, The fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up painted in 1838 since it reminds me of industry that goes on out here (Steveston, on the Fraser River) everyday.

Earlier this week, I was very excited to hear the news of Seaspan winning the $8 billion dollar contract to revitalize BC’s shipping industry. I am quietly hoping that there will be a place for me to weld too. Weather I work as a union or non-union welder, I am thinking there will be a few more women who will have their work cut out for them weather it be aluminum or steel.

Though I haven’t seen any battle ships lately a few months back the tall ships were in town for a three-day weekend and it was a dramatic display from my studio balcony.

I quickly sketched out with chalk pastel my view of the ships from the balcony. It was romantic moment and in the early days of summer when the air is warm and inviting —plein air, which always feels such a luxury and something I have yet to enjoy more of.

Continuing on with View from Studio 217 VI. What drew me to the place I live is the light, the south east-west exposure and the spectacular changing face of Garry Point.

On this rainy October day the greens are greener and the snow geese come and go flying their familiar formation while  each day, Oliver at Action Welding, runs out to watch while Jim and I smile at his childlike joy of seeing the birds that remind him of his homeland.

Immortal Metals

Just down a bit from studio 217 located at ‘The Compound’— on blessed land where the Steveston Harbour Authority holds the keys— is Immortal Metals

most days in the sandbox with the usual sand and zinc blasting out at impossible speeds with heat so sweetly hot you thank your lucky stars that you get out alive at the end of the 45 minute gruel

is where Steveston artifacts, everything metal that goes with a boat is metalized and/or sand blasted to become a thing of beauty that will last well into the 21st century

next up you have a cig or small toke with your coffee break while Frenchie sweeps up a bit and moves some heavy stuff around, he looks for an old butt to suck on while Blackwater Tom adjusts his oxygen levels marveling out how the hot grains of sand filter in through every conceivable fold of his oily get up

Immortal Metals is owned by a legend of Steveston with a number of beauties (sailing vessels) that many envy, although Apoxy Al would beg to differ

all of the folks there to my mind—are immortal since they dabble with their own mortality daily—fishing, welding, blasting, drilling and sanding the hell out of their livelihood—espesicially the women who run the place, I think they have the hardest job — I know they are up for sainthood and maybe one or two of the men