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Supporting SteelDay 2011

Friday, September 23rd, 2011
SteelDay sculpture contest entry

SteelDay sculpture contest entry: "One Nation. Built of Steel."

Today (September 23) is officially SteelDay 2011. The American Institute of Steel Cosntruction President Roger Ferch describes it as “a national event for the design and construction community to explore the structural steel supply chain firsthand.” Across the country, steel mills and other members of the steel industry host events where people can see steel making and recycling in person. Other events will demonstrate steel modeling, machining and steel fabrication—something very near and dear to the gases and welding industry, naturally.

Ferch continues, “SteelDay is a chance for designers, future engineers and others to see first-hand how the U.S. structural steel industry is building high-performance and sustainable projects. There is no better way to increase your understanding of how the various pieces of structural steel systems work together than to see it for yourself and learn directly from the industry experts who are opening the doors to their facilities.”

Along with the education and networking, SteelDay offers a little bit of welding-related fun. In 2011, AISC introduced a steel sculpture contest as part of the yearly celebration. No doubt the artists that created these steel sculptures had to be handy with a welder. Along with the picture shown here, see the full gallery and vote for your favorite at the SteelDay Facebook page.

Steel construction is an area that relies heavily on welding—and as such, the well-being of the steel and construction industries directly impact the well-being of gases and welding distributors and suppliers. From the event photos, it’s nice to see so many GAWDA members supporting SteelDay events as vendors.

Supporting steel day is only one way that GAWDA members can support their customers. What ways are you supporting your other customers and their industries? Share by leaving a comment.

More Than Just Welding Art

Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Cee Kay Supply turns trash into art.

Cee Kay Supply turns trash into art.

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to talk to several distributors taking part in some amazing and unique events. My most recent entry about Ozarc Gas’ Weld-A-Thon is a perfect example.

Another distributor, Cee Kay Supply, took part in its hometown of St. Louis’ Clean Stream event. The focus of the event is picking up trash from the local parks—and after that the fun starts. A group of local artists pick from these found materials to turn trash into art. Not only did Cee Kay Supply provide gases and equipment to support the event, two of its employees even participated. Heath Wells, regional vice president of sales, was kind enough to share some photos of the blue heron sculpture he created with Area Manager Dave Teson.

Rebar legs and a log made from found pipe

Rebar legs and a log made from found pipe

As he explained the process of creating the piece—a flap wheel to bring out the shine, a torch to tint the metal—I began to realize that welding art is much more than welding. Depending on the piece, it may encompass many processes including those mentioned, along with cutting, brazing, soldering and others. With all of the attention on welding, some of the other processes in fabrication and finishing are overlooked.

Proving furthermore that it’s not all about welding, I recently came across an artist named David B. Harton who focuses on plasma cutting art. You can check out a video of his work here. His structural artwork requires some serious technique and skill.

Art Cars Redefine Welding Art

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

I’ve written about the use of welding and gases in art before, but never like this. Thanks to Mike on LinkedIn, my impressions and ideas of welding art have been stretched to their limits. I’m talking about the art car community, which makes use of welding—in fabricating their fantastic creations—and uses propane gas to “shoot flames from their cars.”

Houston is home to a big art car community, which puts on an art car parade—this year’s will be in May—and is home to the Art Car Museum. As Mike explains, “The art car parade in Houston is incredible, it has to be seen to be believed. It is one of my favorite events and favorite CRAZY group of people.” Taking a cue from Mike, I won’t try to try to describe exactly what an art car is—it truly defies words, and is something you have to see to believe.

Thanks to Mike for sending these photos of some incredible handy-work in the art car community. I’d love to see it in person some day.

Any distributors supply customers in the art car community? If you have any photos, I’d be glad to post them.

Click images to enlarge:

Dragon Art Car
Dragon art car
Car shooting propane flames
Gargoyle art car Horse at the Art Car Museum
Gargoyle art car Horse at the Art Car Museum