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how creative is the welding industry and can i create big sculpture or is it a narrow feild when it comes to creativity

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Deanna’s Answer

Hello Cavin - I hope you are well. I agree with both Ron and Aaron's responses above. Depending on what career path you choose or your entrepreneurial pursuit, welding can bring a lot of different opportunities, but also requirements. There are technical skills and knowledge required and many times, in manufacturing, welding specifications and quality requirements that must be followed / met. But, welding is very much so an artform. I have worked with some welders and their precision and skill are amazing as is the welding they produce. Welding requires consistency, control, and "touch" - almost like painting. There are opportunities to use your creativity in welding - like Ron mentioned artists and Aaron mentioned creative challenges in design. Builders and custom designers require that creativity, but solving daily issues and challenges require out-of-box thinking and creativity. Welding as a skilled trade is an area where the applications can be many career pathways and pursuits, welding as a degree allows you to lean into design, but also forms of automating the welding process which is very exciting.
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Aaron’s Answer

Welding can be very creative. I just worked with a welder/metal-working team in Brooklyn, NY to design and install a sculptural 3-story aluminum tube structure around a staircase at Pinterest's headquarters near Times Square, NYC. It was very creatively challenging figuring out how we could fit the pieces in a small elevator to get them to the 20th floor and then welded cleanly in place. After we created a digital model of the project in a 3D computer program (SketchUp), we had to work closely with the building's construction team to coordinate all the scaffolds, hardware and equipment and make sure everything followed NYC codes. Once the structure was complete, the final step was to wrap the framework with almost a mile worth of fireproof rope as an art installation.

That's just one example of many of the imaginative paths you can take as a creative metal worker. Additionally, my city Norfolk, VA builds massive steel ships in the harbor that sail all over the world, if that sounds interesting!
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Ron’s Answer

Hi Cavin,

I'm not a welder but have several in my close family. As Aaron pointed out, some welders get to be super creative in a full-on artistic role. Likely, most welding jobs are going to involve less free-form creativity than building a multi-story art installation. Welding definitely is a heavy science field as success requires a firm grasp of welding techniques and metallurgy. Even if a welder's day job involves less creativity it certainly can lead to a side gig or hobby as a metal artist.
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