The welding workshop had to be one of the most unique and challenging classes we have had so far. After driving through picturesque fields of cattle everyone arrived at Stephanie Mathis' family's incredible Ranch. Some of our participants had full coveralls and even brought extra, so we jumped right into our coveralls and got started. With humor and humility Stephanie began the class. We went through the type of welding we were about to try and of course the safety! I noticed everyone seemed a bit nervous, but by the end the smiles were contagious and every single woman seemed so proud of her work and accomplishment. We just wanted to share some of the information Steph gave us.
We used a "MIG" welder. The MIG welder was developed during WW11 for making equipment and has been used ever since. The less technical definition is the tip of the gun is electrically charged and creates a circle of electricity with the ground. Using this electricity it melts and joins pieces of metal together.
Safety-wise we each had to have appropriate gear. We needed to have long sleeves and pants, sturdy, closed-toed shoes, hair pulled back. Stephanie provided us with welding jackets, gloves and helmets. We recommend taking a class or working with a professional welder if you're interested in learning, as it can be very dangerous!
What I found so interesting about welding is it is not physically difficult, as I had anticipated. It actually takes much more finesse and you have to go slowly and patiently, which can be challenging as sparks are flying!
We took turns and everyone made horseshoe hooks and planters. As the sun was setting and everyone was packing up and heading home, I felt so proud of each person who came and went out of her comfort zone and tried welding. By the smiles everyone had after, I think it was a success!!
Let the sparks fly!