E ssential skills

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Erika Koenig-Workman

Welcome to the first day of ‘The Journey’ the instructor said.

Five women and seven men sit in room 102 at UAPICBC on our first day of orientation. I am in a covert operation beginning with strangers who embark upon a voyage of work, dedication and pure determination to learn and train ‘to be’ welders. Indulge me for a moment, you know I have imagination!

I travel to far away Annacis Island through an industrial corridor which puts me in the mood to learn about welding and the industry. At the moment I am public transiting which is its own kind of curious experience, except if one is sleeping! It is a journey worth embarking upon and I have all confidence that I will learn ~e ssential skills for welding and life!

As I can I will keep you in the know, with short posts from time to time. Thanks for coming along on this maiden voyage with me. ~e

Metal madness

“It was something about the material that I wanted so desperately to mold hold and make into something that would be nothing short of supernatural. It was a sensation and I lost in metal madness surmised that everything up to this point was fought for, the excitement was nothing new. Fire sparks—noise—toxic odour—danger—behind the door of a shop studio grabbed hold of me and I bloody well couldn’t shake it. I had to give in and submit every morning. I put my ring on faithfully as a reminder that the day held opportunity that was mine to discover—hammer—weld grind, until I would find the shape that presented a symmetry that was laid to rest on the table until tomorrow’s tomorrow” —Freyja~Frigg

Underground shifting

At a cafe today in our Village, I was catching up with online digital tasks since the last two weeks I have been driving off Lulu Island to Annacis Island to attend piabschool. POW is a program for women who are interested in the trades. PIAB, UA 170‘s private school provides an opportunity for women to succeed in a career of their choice within the piping industry by offering excellent training in a supportive working environment in an industry where only 4% are women. From the get go I knew I wanted to weld. I still have 4 weeks to go and everyday I ask myself: is this what I want to study and work at in the years to come?

At Bean and Beyond in Steveston, in between checking websites and waiting for data transfer I read ART revolution by Lisa L. Cyr where she writes about transcending boundaries:

“From 1908-1914 two pioneers; Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked collaboratively in search of an alternative form of expression, a different approach to seeing and interpreting the world. With their efforts, Cubism, an artistic vision that allows for multiple  viewpoints to be shown simultaneously, was born…..In addition the Cubist movement gave birth to a more tactile approach to picture-making….under Cubist theory, pictorial reality became multidimensional expressed in multimedia format.”

I used to chide myself severely for not ever settling on a particular medium. It seemed I could not quell the desire to join together numerous elements to make a picture. I understood Marcel Duchamp‘s, Nude Descending Staircase since I had experienced fragmentation, culminating in 10 moves by the time I was 13. So Marcel’s depiction captured well-known feelings that I had contained for most of my childhood. That life was dubious and unstable accompanied by a haunting notion of unpredictability.  Searching for meaning in a world of chance occupied me which later helped develop full-blown existentialism that I chose as my world view for a period of time.

Underground shifting is about perceptives in motion where things are placed in a random order to create something new or unknown. It is subjective to the last degree which is largely what gives it appeal. I end up feeling that when change occurs in life it might look somewhat like this. Non-sensical and heavy laden with meaning and nothing in particular at the same time, it is somewhat unsettling as change occurs and often mentally painful.

With 13 other women I sit in the shape of a circle to redefine or refine a path, a way that I have been going. There are individuals I have met at the school that have given me a strong sense of wanting justice in the labour movement for men and women and have acted according to their convictions to achieve lasting change. I am challenged and inspired to look further than my immediate path by listening to a person’s story.

At the end of the day it may not all make sense like Underground shifting yet what is important is to stay on the path even if you are on the loose shoulder slipping a little. Eventually you will notice an order occurring and you will hit a point when you see clearly an isometric design in the midst of frayed disorder.

CSL Files 217 [2.09] Industrial Diner

Upon arrival within the space of a few minutes Sienna and Kate were sitting at their favorite Diner on an Industrial Island sipping bad coffee in china they loved that was indestructible.

Sienna read Real Estate Weekly but put it aside in favour of Margaret Visser’s “The Rituals of Dinner”.

Kate had just finished chapter two of  Thomas Szasz’s “My Madness Saved Me” and glanced out the front window taking in Szasz’s forceful statement:

‘Virginia Woolf was a victim of neither mental illness, nor psychiatry, nor her husband—three ways she is regularly portrayed. Instead, she was an intelligent and self-assertive person, a moral agent who used mental illness, psychiatry and her husband to fashion for herself a life of her own choosing.’

The sea will drum in my ears. The white petals will be darkened with sea water. They will float for a moment and then sink. Rolling me over the waves will shoulder me under. Everything falls in a tremendous shower, dissolving me. --Virginia Woolf, The Waves

For the few who dared take pleasure in an Island that boasted concrete production and education to those going into the piping industry, it was a cornucopia of industrial delights.

Sienna brought her camera and was determined to capture shots that were full of texture and 256 shades of grey she had learned about in her class, ‘Elementary Concepts of Graphic Design’.

Time was running short so they hurried from the Diner and took their bikes down to the river. There she swooned with a kind of ecstasy, Kate smiled to watch her take pleasure in Industry and trade.

….Geepers, I’ll be wrapping my mind around copper piping; the joining, preparation and care of it, how wacky is that? thought Kate

Metal excited her and she recalled late into the night a subtle metallic taste that lingered in her mouth usually after reading, A Liger’s Tale by Rhea Phoenix.

“When you are ready I’ll go with you, I’m here for you” said Sienna

“I know…” Kate replied as she admired Sienna’s stately amazon like figure.

Her elegant beauty made Kate heady. They couldn’t be more different in stature yet their passion for art, industry and trade brought a visceral excitement, a revelation that caused them to lose track of time when they reminisced over steel, the effects of weather on metal, every manner of and hue of rust—a natural patina that magically and invisibly developed in the dead stillness of nights long gone.

Kate smiled at Sienna recalling her clad in fashionable clothes from the ’80’s as she prepared to visit real estate clients. She would build her professional relationships on her own terms and make art because in her heart lay a child like trust. It was this she listened to and followed, the evidence of it lay in her determination that was as tall as the stature she boasted.

“Let’s go, we have a long ways back to Lulu” said Kate

“Ready” smiled Sienna

Mounting their bikes they found their way back from one Island to another with little trouble and traffic. Flat out riding on concrete they bore down on a beaten highway designed for diesel dykes since they were the ones who could take the heat alone, embodying the strength and wisdom of the Valkyries. They arrived in good time. Sienna pulled in to the driveway and ran into the house to find Gary lounging in a chair in his study with a cocktail in hand.

“Well how’d it go….I hope you took way too many pictures because you know I’ll be ruthless with you” he said affectionately as he kissed her mouth

“Of course hon, as usual I was beguiled. Kate is on her way and I’m excited for her and proud since she left the physics gig behind, she’s moving forward with her art riding the precarious vein of her closest sentiment” said Sienna

“Ah….that’s why I love you, you pull at my heart-strings with words so fine” Gary drew her towards him and she fell into a momentary spell as he caressed the nape of her long neck.

Kate was glad she got back to the studio in the early evening, so she could take in the last light of day. Approaching the entry way of the building she looked down to find a turtle on the concrete struggling half digging itself into the soil. Her memory was jogged, Roberto she thought suddenly….it won’t be long now until the desolation passes. She picked up the turtle and lay it next to the Richmond ditch.

She entered the studio and logged on to find the latest On the road post.

Danielle, it’s all going accordingly, you are finding your way….I knew you would

She walked out onto the balcony with a glass of white wine, the mountains of Vancouver Island were deep indigo blue, the water below, sea grass green—vivid serene colours washed through her with a hope brought on by deep consolation. Looking into the ditch below she pulled out her binoculars to search for the turtle. Surprisingly it still lay there until slowly it moved into the swampy water and disappeared under the surface.

The Phoenix

The idea becomes the material

91

Materials found or salvaged can be transformed into una idea.

The idea becomes the material — becomes the idea.

Steveston artifacts; found objects, industrial materials and pieces of stone….Beth my favorite welder in Steveston now gone to Alberta, practiced her welding and master Alberto salvaged the aluminum piece and gave it to me to make something with.

91 is about being on the edge. The stone represents ruins, a fortress on a cliff.

In Hebrew ‘metzudah’ translated is “a fortress on a cliff”.

fortress on a cliff; ruins, open, hiding place, protection, shelter, fort, structure, dwelling

Precipice; noun
a very steep rock face or cliff, typically a tall one: ‘we swerved toward the edge of the precipice’

angles accentuated by the paint, the working of the metal, and textures are meant to give the feeling of falling, straining and extreme pain

Pressure (Oil paint, pastel and alabaster on steel) ~e 08

Words

Quote of the Week

Posted: 15 Feb 2010 03:21 AM PST

Whenever we need to make a very important decision it is best to trust our instincts, because reason usually tries to remove us from our dream, saying that the time is not yet right. Reason is afraid of defeat, but intuition enjoys life and its challenges.