In 2005, I took a welding class that changed my life.

Seven years earlier my husband, our two boys and I arrived in the US from the UK to live and work for a year. I stayed at home looking after the boys–a big difference from my normal daily life as a physician in the UK–but I really enjoyed it. Once we had made the decision as a family to remain in the US, I immersed myself in volunteering in the local community and at the boys’ elementary school. Still, I knew I needed another outlet for my creativity.

The intensity of my first welding class was challenging. I needed concentration, strong hand-eye coordination and training to improve. I was hooked! The ability to create art using the combination of high voltage and power tools was exhilarating. It felt like a whole new way of looking at creation.

I am attracted to metal in particular. The juxtaposition of strength and malleability in one medium is fascinating. A decision to treat it one way can determine what can be created with it at a later stage. Therefore, you need a concept based on knowledge plus a little bit of intuition, something that is familiar to me from my earlier medical career.

Since I first started welding, I have:

  • Apprenticed with a blacksmith creating a foundation for my art.

  • Joined the non-profit artist community, Liberty Arts - which has artists working in a wide variety of media and offers many opportunities to improve and learn new skills - where I honed my approach to art.

  • Chaired the board of Liberty Arts to help create jobs within the artist community and enhance artists’ working experience.

  • Co-directed the 2014-15 Bull City Sculpture Show

  • Helped organize and successfully execute the growing Liberty Arts annual Iron Pour event at Durham Central Park

  • Been featured in various art shows across North Carolina, including the nationally-acclaimed Fearrington Folk Art Show & a featured exhibit at GreenHill Gallery.

  • Opened my own studio.

To find out more about my path to become a metal artist, check out this awesome video from Kassra Homaifar - edited by Kenan Kaptanoglu.