Last Saturday we went south to join family and grandkids for an outing to the Bellingham Technical College‘s 2012 Welding Rodeo.  Now that’s not an event I would have chosen on my own, but one of Mike’s sons is a welder — Jeff fabricates steel and aluminum into impressive objects.  We’ve talked about some of the detailed work involved, so I had some sense of  welders’  skill and creativity, and agreed to go along.  Plus it was a glorious day, the event was all outside, with big draw prizes, a BBQ, grass to lounge on, and music for dancin’ 🙂   It was an memorable day!

My respect and appreciation grew in leaps and bounds as the day wore on, for human creativity and ingenuity in general, but for welders in particular.  From metal scraps – junk to most of us – each team of four welders (Metalmorphosis was the name of one of the teams — great play, eh?) worked steadily from about 8 am to 4 pm and created their contribution.  The theme was Into the Garden, and the solutions to this artistic and metallic challenge were inspiring and awesome.

I loved it that several of the teams had women on them, some kinda regular sized, but some big, burly, and brash, full of laughter and zest for life and their work.  It blew all kinds of notions and preconceptions I had, and I love it when that happens!  I felt the glow of aliveness that comes when people are engaged, connected, working together, creating…  It’s good for the soul!

At the end of the day came the judging, prizes, more music, and a chance to examine the sculptures — for that’s the best term to describe the works the teams had crafted in the course of the day, up close.  The people’s choice went to this piece, entitled Urban Undergrowth.

Jimmy Buffet sings, “If you ever get the chance to go to Dallas, Take it from me pass it by…”   And I’d sing, if you ever get a chance to go to a Welding Rodeo, take it from me, head on over!

Here’s a link to previous award winning entries, and a few more pictures of this year’s competition.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Your feedback is most welcome.

Share this: