Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Metal Arts

I’ve just signed up for two classes at The Crucible here in Oakland. They are a local arts organization that focus on fire-related arts and skills. I don’t know all of the details of their founding but it is basically a group of Burners that decided to get more involved with the local community and create a space to support cool art and teaching people new skills.

The classes that I’ve signed up for are a weekend intensive (16 hours) on Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding and a class in Bronze Casting using the “Ceramic Shell Process.”

I’m very interested in metal casting and sculpture. Part of this is a desire to be able to create interesting or beautiful items, such as ritual implements, and part of it is that I’ve always loved metal pieces and objects in a variety of shapes. I like the solidity, the texture and color. When I was a kid, I very briefly did some simple blacksmithing and I’ve always been interested in working with metals. With the Crucible so close, it seemed like a good opportunity. (I’m hoping to be done with my thesis before then so I’ll have the free time as well.

When it comes to welding, my father was a welder. He worked in the shipyards in Seattle and continued to do it for fun after he was disabled with a back energy. It is one of those things that I think he would have taught me if we hadn’t had the “broken” years between 12 and 18 where we had no contact and then the years of getting to know each other again afterwards. I’ve always wanted to be able to weld and going to events like Burning Man has only rekindled the idea. I mean, what is cooler than being able to take pieces of metal, twist and cut them, and then attach them to each other forever?

Now that I have my own house and a bit of concrete floored space outside, I have more room to do things like work with metal if it turns out that I really do like it. We’ll see. I might have no talent for it but it still should be fun to do. It might be a bit of type until I can cast an image of the Buddha (or Fudo Myoo) out of bronze but we’ll see.