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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Carmen Electrode Blog Carmen Electrode Blog » Because Women Welders Rock!™

Carmen Electrode Blog Carmen Electrode Blog » Because Women Welders Rock!™.

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

Aluminum

Aluminum at the Design Museum

Here is teeny tiny writing but worth the read, since it gives a little background history and who took pains to design with it.

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 sound of aluminum

Since the new dock went up and the permanent pylons forever cast in the ground, there has been a new sound at Garry Point of an unwelcome nature.

It is the sound of the swaying aluminum ramp as the waves from a sailing vessel sweep under. It stands alone and is rather reminiscent of something you want to put down in order to let it out of its misery.

Without a warm characteristic hum or drone, it is like a horribly out of tune instrument that does not know quite how to fit in.

“As a musician for over 40 years I have heard a lot of ugly sounds in my life time, from ear piercing microphone feedback through a 500 watt P.A. system, to out of tune instruments playing out of time.

I must say however the offensive squawk of the Garry Point Aluminum bridge is now included in my top ten list. Walking down the bridge slowly gave me the creepy feeling that I was walking through a gauntlet of GIANT and very angry crows.

Standing in the base of the bridge made me think of what aluminum might sound like if it had flatulence…”Aluminum Flatulence,” also a good name for a “Light Metal Band”. Standing on the float the squawks created a vision in my mind of a very LARGE Siamese cat in heat. From the middle of the Park the squawks sounded more like squeaks.These squeaks introduced an image in my mind of an older upstairs couple copulating very slowly and carefully on a broken box spring mattress.

I hope any one who reads this will now see these images in their mind as well, when their ears are assaulted. Lets hope that City Council doesn’t promote the bridge as Steveston tourist attraction.”—Ted Hesketh, Musician and Visual Artist

I am hoping that as long as I live close enough to hear the waves, the dredger and working tugs that it will blend into the milieu of industrial sounds that I daily listen to, yet somehow I have a feeling it is going to take awhile.

If it were possible I wish to find a way of tuning it to give it a slightly more appealing voice which harmonizes with the natural sounds of Garry Pt. Maybe now that I am working at Action Welding I can learn from Jim all the secrets to working with aluminum. Come to think of it, I don’t think they make tuning forks out of aluminum, hmm, then again maybe they do.

Aluminum is characteristically somewhat hollow and lightweight depending on the weight of it and a premium metal for marine fabrication, many years ago dubbed “the miracle metal” by those working in the industry. There may well be a few instruments out there, I’ll get back to you on that!

ps: I did find a beautiful double bass…

Available at: 1stdibs