My interest in metalwork began in high school shop classes. At first I was not impressed because it was noisy and dirty, but I love to build things and found steel to be such an amazing medium, that soon I was won over and came to love it.
When faced with the monumental decision of choosing a career path, I decided welding would be a good option. It would build on my metalworking interest and allow me to remain living in the West Kootenay, which was a priority. I graduated from Selkirk College’s C-Level welding in 2004. My first welding job was production welding parts for trucks, and after that I worked in Nakusp as a maintenance welder on heavy equipment.
My life has had its share of challenges. I was a mother of two before age 20, trying to finish high school, and subsequently went to college. I then had to prove that I had the skills and determination to work in a male dominated industry. I built a successful career doing something I enjoy.
Attending Selkirk College helped contribute to my success. Selkirk made sure my welding was solid. To be a female tradesperson you always have to be on top of your game. If I hadn’t attended Selkirk, my point of view as an artist and my practical skill level would be entirely different.
After several years of working as a welder and building sculpture on the side, I grew tired of constantly being in the shop. Luckily an opportunity to work in an entirely different industry appeared and I took it. This gave me the space in my brain and life to really focus on my sculptural work. I didn’t say that I wouldn’t go back to shop welding in the near future. I ended up really missing the running of a nice long bead…it has the same quality as meditation and provides thinking time generally uninterrupted by humans (which for a mother and artist is like gold). I have since been working for Waterbridge Steel in Nakusp, building the new Galena Bay ferry.