I wanted to learn welding in middle school, but my parents were pragmatic and bought me a soldering iron to get started.
I remember buying spools of wire and I would solder sculptures to depict figurines and shapes, all held together with metal solder.
Before long, I became proficient with a soldering iron and even made electronics for my guitar rig before finally getting the chance to try a welding torch at our community’s art center. Welding was a game changer for me as I soon realized that it gave me the excitement that I was looking for from metalworking. I started welding even more when I got to college and took a sculpting class. While we started out with cardboard, we soon graduated to sculpting rebar with a welding torch. We had rebar cutters, a rebar bender, and ironworker’s pliers for sculpting the hard wire into various shapes. My friend Nathan became a mathematics artist who would use rebar to create nearly geometrically impossible shapes like dodecahedrons and I was always impressed. Recently I decided to use rebar wire as the frame of a bookshelf and used stained wood as the shelves in between. I saw the cool rebar project on Pinterest and got started in my garage. These days I have my own welding torch because it’s my favorite hobby. If I ever lost my job, I would consider becoming an ironworker because of the amount of rebar I have bent and welded over the years. Rebar can be difficult to learn on, but it’s by far the cheapest and quickest way to practice the art. When you don’t have access to other metal, rebar wire is a great choice.