A successful Beginner Welding Workshop

The Beginner Welding Workshop, like many other events, was canceled due to the pandemic this past December 2020. Through determination, a loyal following and an eager instructor, it was rescheduled for May 22 and 23 in an above ground nonworking mine at Deep Creek Experimental.

Nine people participated in the workshop. Four, ranging from 13 to 17 years of age—were sponsored by One-To-One Mentoring. Several adults from Telluride participated as well. All materials and safety equipment were supplied to the students, they just needed to show up ready to create.

The students learned the process of creating a steel fire art project from scratch using reclaimed materials. Dan taught the basics of shop safety, welding basics, metal manipulation, and how to add fire elements. Materials on the first day. The students collaborated on the creation of a fire sculpture out of steel and added propane elements to the finished project, which will be on display at the 2021 event.

Not only did the group produce a collaborative work of art including flame effects, but also separate welded sculptures for themselves. Fiery Fluffy was the name given the team creation. The students tossed their name into a hat to give all a fair chance to win the group created flaming art installation, and 13 year-old Sebastian Santa Ana was the winner.

About the instructor
Dan Gundrum of Home Technology Group and Pivotal Effects taught the two-day class. Dan, a member of Deep Creek Experimental explains his craft in this way, “I look at the world and what inspires art. It stems from my impulsive desire to observe life from a different perspective. When something can be influenced in that altered perspective, art happens. That influence can be something as simple as clicking the shutter or making that grind. Pushing the boundaries of that influence makes something entirely new. Something that can transport the viewer into that altered perspective.” Says Dan, “I love teaching this class for the Festival. The reward is seeing the smiles and creativity”.

Student program was a resounding success!

Two weekends ago five Coldharbour Institute students met with seven students from the San Luis Valley and San Miguel County and went to an abandoned cave in Telluride and made art and science and alliances.

The program was a resounding success!  It was an opportunity for the kids to discover how they can operate in any environment, and learn any skill…beautifully.  Carlos Lerma is their first Coldharbour Youth Development Initiative (CYDI) student ambassador.  Maria and Veronica are two students being brought into the program.  Christian Arel is an MEM/Vista student whose project is developing the CYDI program.  “Max, my kid, started the whole crazy gig last year by meeting and falling in love with Erin Ries, TFF Executive Director and amazing soul,” says Suzanne Ewy, Executive Director of Coldharbour Institute.

“Connecting Gunnison and WSCU’s MEM, Art, etc., with Telluride makes all kinds of great sense.  They have so many of the same issues going on around art, cold weather, high altitude sustainability, agriculture and food, remoteness, need for higher education, and bursting creativity, that working together is a no-brainer. Come join us in January for the Fire Festival, January 20 – 22 – it’s magical.  We’ll have the kids’ sculpture up and running – it’s going to be fabulous.  Not quite green, but lots of sustainability in every other arena for these kiddos,”  ” continues Ewy.

If you miss the Festival, we’ll be bringing the sculpture to Gunnison and the San Luis Valley eventually.