Sparks fly in new class at Durham Tech

Patrick Bardin just completed his pelican welding art.

Patrick Bardin just completed his welded piece of art — a pelican.

With gloves on, helmet down, and fired torch in-hand, Patrick Bardin begins to morph a ¼” thick steel rod into the shape of a pelican through the art of welding. Bardin,18, is one of 10 students in the Sculptural Welding and Metalwork for Artists class, a new course offered at Durham Tech this summer that teaches an introduction to welding and metal working techniques with a focus on creating artworks.

“I recommend this class for almost anyone,” Bardin said. “I don’t want to be stuck in an office job and welding opens up a world of opportunities in the job market for those who are creatively-minded.”

Instructor, Ben Lock, has 25 years of experience welding and was thrilled to teach this course.

“It gives people an opportunity to work in a professional shop,” Lock said. “Students who typically do 2-dimensional art now have an opportunity to explore 3-D art and the different techniques and processes of working with metal.”

Eliza Murphy, an employee at Durham Tech, is taking the class with her husband.

“When I saw this new class posted online, I was really excited about trying it out,” Murphy said. “I do art on the side and I thought this would be a great way to broaden my skill set.”

This 8-week class meets on Saturday mornings and will be ending July 8, but Lock expects the class to be offered again in the spring. This course falls under the Construction Trades Continuing Education program at Durham Tech, which provides participants with training for entry-level positions in building construction. For more information about this program, please visit here.

For questions about this class, please contact Maryah Smith-Overman, Director of Construction Trades at Durham Tech, at 919-536-7200, ext. 4008 or smithovermanm@durhamtech.edu.

Terry Ford puts final touches on the horse he made.

Terry Ford puts final touches on a horse.

Nancy Hirsch puts final touches on the fish she is creating.

Nancy Hirsch puts final touches on a fish.

Issam El Betri assembles his welded flower art.

Issam El Betri assembles his flower.

Ben Lock shows Patrick Bardin how to put the feet on his pelican.

Ben Lock shows Patrick Bardin how to attach feet to his pelican.

Eliza Murphy is making an octopus-inspired piece of art.

Eliza Murphy is making an octopus-inspired piece of art.

Issam El Betri continues work on his flower.

Issam El Betri continues work on his flower.

Welding student creating a bicycle wheel.

 Juan Bedoya creating a bicycle wheel.

Welding student works on her diamond art.

Meredith Lewis puts final touches on a diamond.

Issam El Betri's work of art is almost complete.

Issam El Betri’s work of art is almost complete.