Metals Studio

Chad Plunket wore a leather jacket, gloves and a helmet to protect himself from the sparks that flew off the metal ribbon.

Plunket, project manager for the Charles Adams Studio Project and a welding instructor, cut the ribbon for the CH Foundation Metals Studio on Sept. 6.

“What we want to do,” Plunket said “is create better studio space for our artists to be able to work.”

Individuals can come to the studio to take a class or rent studio time and use the equipment, Plunket said.

“We have a pneumatic foot shear in there,” he said. “I believe it’s a $7,000 piece of equipment.”

It is the kind of tool a sculptor might need once every six months, Plunket said, and the purpose of the metals studio is to give people access to equipment they otherwise could not afford.

Charles Adams, owner of the Charles Adams Gallery and founder of CASP, said “thank you” in his speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony to the CH Foundation for giving the metals studio a grant to purchase equipment and to the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, the Lubbock Arts District, and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

The metals studio’s first class has already reached capacity, Adams said.

Beginner metals fabrication class started on Sept. 10, Plunket, the instructor for the class, said, and meets once a week.

The class consists of eight women and two men, he said, and the number of women in the class is not surprising to him.

In graduate school at Clemson University, he said, it was quite often the female students who were superior to the male students.

Welding is not about brute strength, he said.

“Welding physically is no harder than writing your name,” Plunket said.

Moving large objects to weld is the hard part, he said, but for safety reasons even strong men need to ask for help.

Safety is a priority, Plunket said, and classes at the metals studio will provide individuals with a safe environment to learn metal fabrication.

“Some of the processes that you do really aren’t safe to just be doing in your garage,” he said.

Anyone 16 years old or older can sign up for the classes, he said.

Jon Whitfill, a welding instructor, will be teaching the next metal fabrication class in October, and he said the class will focus on objects students find outside, like the piece he showcased at the ribbon cutting – a round, hollow three-dimensional piece, made of soda bottle caps.

The metals studio is located in at the intersection of Avenue J and 5th street and shares the building with the Talkington Studios and the 5 and J.


About Danielle King
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