Learning Path — Sculpture

Metal is an incredible medium, and metalworking opens up so many possibilities for artists. EG, you can use MIG to quickly assemble strong frames or build sculptures out of scrap, or you can use the Oxy torch to hot bend steel into smooth organic curved forms.
We’ve put together the following list of classes as a “curriculum” of sorts that we recommend for artists and creatives who are drawn to the artistic side of welding. It’s only a general guide — the more you learn, the more you’ll know what you want to learn next — but we think it’s a good place to start:
Class Details: Usually 7-10pm on Fridays. Cost is $80 for one person, $140 for two people.
Class Description: This is a quick 3-hr class that covers a ton of material. While it’s not enough for you to go and do any of it on your own, it does give you good exposure to three different kinds of welding — MIG, TIG, Torch — as well as some other fun shop tools, including the Plasma Cutter, which is like something out of a James Bond movie. Plus you’ll get to make a cowbell, and as Christopher Walken always says, “gOtta HAve more COWbell.”
Requirements: No prerequisites or experience required. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.

Class Details: 6 session class (offered every 6 weeks at various times/days, offered as a one week class M—F in July). Instruction fee is $210, Materials and shop fee is $195 (Total: $405).
Class Description: The Oxyacetylene Torch is the most versatile of the welding techniques we teach at MMW. The same torch can be used to hot-bend metal into beautiful organic curves, to weld together two pieces of metal, to braze together two different types of metal, and to cut through steel plate as thick as 1″. Plus, instead of using electricity, Oxy uses fire, which makes you feel like a total badass. For the first three weeks, you’ll make a couple projects that familiarize you with the various uses of the Oxy torch, and for the last three weeks you’ll get to make you’re very own sculpture of whatever you want, under the experienced and guiding eye of shop founder Matt Jones, MFA (yeah, we know, hard to believe just by looking at him).
Requirements: No prerequisites or experience required. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 6 weeks, 3 hours a week. Cost (total of materials and instruction) is $405.
Class Description: When you make a sculpture that moves, you make a living sculpture. We’re going to spend six weeks in this class, bringing things to life. We’ll cover cams, pistons, 4-bar linkages, levers, bearings–a whole lot and we’ll make 5 different moving projects (including a flying bird sculpture). If you’ve ever seen a moving or kinetic sculpture and wanted to learn how to make it, this is the class.
Requirements: No prerequisites or experience required. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: 6 weeks, 3 hours a week. Cost (total of materials and instruction) is $405.
Class Description: Alexander Calder is the master of making monumental metal look lightweight and easy. Secret is though, it ain’t that hard, once you learn the basics of how to balance. Come learn how to make steel float through the sky in this six session class. In this class, were going to make like Calder and make some mobiles. Either big or small, up to you, but we’ll build them big or small using a variety of hot and cold tools. The first three weeks will be guided exercises to introduce you into the realm of mobiles, including a presentation on Calder, the difference between tree, articulated, and petal mobiles, and some basic welding practice and tool usage. The following three weeks, we’ll work on our own mobiles. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even make a base for you mobile, or just leave it free-hanging (though attachment to the ceiling is recommended at some point).
Requirements: No prerequisites or experience required. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.
Class Details: This is a one day class that is offered twice a year, cost is $75.
Class Description: Have you ever been to a junk yard or yard sale and found a piece of metal that you wanted to use for a sculpture or design but didn’t know where to begin? Maybe it was a bunch of old chains, or rusty gears and pulleys. Maybe it was covered in paint and you didn’t know how to go about prepping it. In this class students will learn tricks to identifying different types of metals, and how to degrease and remove rust and galvanized coatings. Students will also learn different techniques and applications to safely use those pieces of found metals either in a cold application such as riveting or wire wrapping…or hot applications such as brazing and welding.
Requirements: No prerequisites or experience required. Standard clothing. 18 or older or instructor permission.