Everybody knows that women welders were major contributors to the World War II manufacturing effort. But that seems so long ago.
And most of them gave up their work so returning soldiers could have a job.
In the 21st century, women are being sought as welding trainees because there’s a lack of skilled workers and because welding skills can produce good earnings and a lifetime career.
Female artists, however, never stopped welding,
To acknowledge National Welding Month, here are three.
More on Gertrude Barnstone
Guide to the Gertrude Barnstone papers, 1956 – 2010 MS 587
Gertrude Barnstone on GALAXY artwork
Galaxy installation photographs by Fatima Donaldson
Gertrude Lisette Levy Barnstone (1925 – )
Michelle works big. Very big.
She and her crew coax mild steel into curvilinear forms that tower over the landscape.
She says, “Welders were my mentors.”
She needed mentors because it seemed the welding instructor was lukewarm about having her in his class.
But the experienced welders, in class to work on various certifications, were happy to help her learn what she needed to know to craft the giants she saw in her head.
On her website, Michelle categorizes her sculptures like this: monumental, taller-than-you, and maybe-taller-than-you. The following photo gives you an idea of what she means by monumental.
Her clients may not know it, but before the vivid pigment is applied to the steel, Michelle uses chalk to cover each work in Sanskrit, a ceremonial language in many religions.
See more of Michelle’s work
Craighead Green Gallery
The Benini Studio and Sculpture Ranch
She takes classes at her local community college, where welding instructors and art instructors cross-pollinate classes.
For the time being, Sharon’s welding goals focus on developing her skills – and her welding wardrobe.
Not only has she acquired fancy gloves, there’s a rumor that her welding mask is hot pink!
National Welding Month
Love these welders who give us another opportunity to celebrate National Welding Month!