Nov 12, 2015

MIG Welding

I enjoy a weekend of getting your hands dirty and learning about something you've always wanted to know about.

Enter the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis.

The Metal Museum has a rich history that's not without it's fair share of scandal and ghosts.

Opening it's doors officially to the public on February 5, 1979, the Metal Museum has offered artists a place of learning and growth all the while providing the community with a place to see masters in their art as well as learn and participate in the metal working community.

The buildings that are on the property were originally a US Marine Hospital during the Civil War and were used to treat soldiers as well as do research to search for a cure for yellow fever. 

The hospital officially closed in 1965 and after some land dividing and renovations the museum was opened to the public. To learn more about the museum and it's grand history check out their website:

Nowadays you can drop in and see the art that is on display, bring in something for repairs, have a wedding on the grounds, take a class, or join them for an iron pour. It is an amazing place that is an inordinately large resource to many an aspiring blacksmith.

I was most recently down there taking a MIG Welding class. I've learned to weld before, but this was my first real class.

The classes are small - about 8 people - and there are two instructors. We went through the basic science of how MIG welding works, the types of welders on the market and what the difference is between each type of welder available. I could try and explain the science to you, but let's just go with electrical current, metal on metal, and some sort of conductor. SCIENCE.

Anyways you learn about the different machines and then you get to test them out. Like they just hand them over and you get to play with them. HOW COOL IS THAT!?

After you've played with each machine for a little while they send you out to the scrap pile to test your new skills and you get to make whatever you want and then take them home.

These are the things I made.

If you ever get a chance to go visit the Metal Museum I highly recommend it. Tell them I sent you. Also definitely take a class. You'll learn something new and get to play with awesome machinery, get a little dirty and create one of a kind art.

Nov 10, 2015

New beginnings

Today marks the one year anniversary of my month long stint in Guatemala.

That trip was the start of a lot of new chapters for me. Some of them good, some of them sad, and some of them unsteady. No matter the content of the chapters that trip stands as one of the best things that I have ever done.

Guatemala signaled a clean slate, a complete starting over of sorts. It may not have been exactly the way I had pictured it, but that's the way the proverbial cookie crumbled for me.

In this year I have learned a few things about myself.

1. I can travel to a foreign country and know no one and come home with some amazing memories and friends that I will never soon forget.

2. Traveling solo is something I thoroughly enjoy and am constantly looking for ways to continue.

3. Starting over is really scary.

4. It's okay to cry and be upset.

5. It's doubly okay to still not be okay.

6. Only you can decide when you are ready. Some days I am still not ready and am unsure that I may ever be ready.

7. Getting a puppy can fill a lot of emptiness.

8. Not knowing your direction or course in life is scary but you're not the only one.

9. Spending money you don't have to see friends you never see is absolutely worth it and I will never regret the time I got to spend with them.

10. I live my life by jumping first and looking later, wearing my heart on my sleeve, being a bit shy, and constantly chasing the sunrise on the dreams of wanderlust. Those things make me and there is nothing wrong with that.

11. It will all work out. It always does. Take a few steps back and breathe. Trust the journey but most of all trust yourself. Your heart always knows what you head refuses to see.

My year has been full of ups and downs with these new beginnings. It hasn't been easy and some days are awful, but each day I am a little bit stronger. I still don't know where I am going but I know the type of person that I want to be. Each day is a constant reminder to be that person.