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!