Pile o’ aluminum

Aluminum bin at Action Welding

I have been working

….steadily at learning the shop environ where of utmost importance and priority is safety for a tradesman or tradeswoman who should rarely be injured because what comes first is a ‘focused concentration’ for the task at hand regardless whether the effort required is great or small ‘we’ have a moral responsibility to respect the equipment and how we as artists/trades people and fellow workers inter act with the equipment at the beginning I really didn’t know how I would fair yet now I feel I am gaining some comfort if you can imagine working in a place that is darker than a room with natural light and heated in one of three rooms in winter….

When the garage door goes up and daylight comes streaming into the shop it is a reward like the hot zing of candied ginger on your tongue ….there is a palpable sense of accomplishment after having worked three hours in the morning and a few more in the afternoon the next best thing to do is build in a little ‘bounty’ in order to honour the physical work accomplished and the sense of feeling productive towards the end of the day is much like the rising of small bubbles to the surface now you can take a breather or two and feel somewhat complete and done although seven or more projects still await their end we press on while deadlines loom large clients call expectant of results after they have placed their trust in your ability to fabricate and assemble a useable commodity it is your assignment to deliver whether you are winning all along or fall down too many times to count. —Freyja Frigg

Arlette

It is week three or four?

‘Arlette’ is tired. She is having her ‘soul’ replenished and renewed. Her steel tanks came first and then ‘Arlette’ built around them. Two large heavy fuel tanks that are ‘done’ ready for removal and replaced by custom made aluminum tanks that are built to hold the maximum amount of fuel for her. Heavy vs light, immoveable vs mobile, it is a natural progression to go to aluminum so she can live happily ever after.

I wonder how it will lighten her load? Will she sail on easier and swifter than ever? Jim the boss man and Olie the whistling welder spear head the whole venture. It is a challenge that not many would take on. A very particular kind of job that requires a good amount of thinking and understanding about three-dimensional space accompanied by skill in fabricating and the physical and mental strength and fortitude to pull it off.

My job is to assist, to make it easier. To pass the ‘surgeon’ a zip cutter, a light, to hold a pipe wrench, a tape measure then to clear the area of any debris and then change the zip disc. My child like curiosity gives me a buzz, to others I am an anomaly, a bit of a mystery.

To break the stern silence of this ‘brutish’ occupation as Jim calls it, is part of my undertaking while I work.  This realm is new territory for me and I like the challenge accompanied by discovery and adventure—it gives me new found energy to work really hard. The most important thing to me is that I remain willing to learn.

Oh Rebecca

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.

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

Women Welders (via Salonunidad’s Blog)

Thanks to Tom Murphy at Shamrock Welding for the opportunity to weld and for your desire to pass on your knowledge to me

Women Welders Line Up of Some of Women Welders Including The Women’s Welding Champion of Ingalls [Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Ms]., 1943 Photographer: Beebe, Spencer Subjects: World War, 1939-1945 Labor Women … Read More

via Salonunidad’s Blog