Teaching “Welding for Women” 101

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Pamela Olin of IL sees welding as an art form and the torch as her (eyeliner) brush.  With her unique perspective, and through a series of courses this fall, Olin is going to get local women intersted in the world of welding.

New classes seek to bring women into world of welding

Published: 7/13/2009 12:02 AM
By Alissa Groeninger | Daily Herald StaffContact writer

Arlington Heights resident Pamela Olin began welding 16 years ago when she was seven months pregnant with her second child.

“I had ideas that I thought best expressed in steel,” she said.

She soon became a nationally known welding artist, and beginning this fall, Olin will teach two classes at Harper College: “Welding for Women” and “Make Your Own Garden Structure.” Both are noncredit courses that will introduce women to the concepts of welding.

Welding is a sculptural process that brings materials together, of which metal is the most commonly used.

PHOTO COURTESY ERIN BROOKS

PHOTO COURTESY ERIN BROOKS

“They can really create anything they can imagine,” Olin said. “My art projects don’t get shoved under the bed when they get home.”

Olin, a first-time instructor at Harper, approached the department director about starting the classes after doing an independent study at the Palatine community college last spring. “She came in with a unique proposal,” said Scott Cashman, Harper’s continuing education manager.

Cashman said he is excited the class will apply welding to the arts and believes it will be a nice addition to other three-dimensional art classes, like pottery.

“It’s an aspect of art that I really wanted to be able to build on,” Cashman said, adding that such classes offer Harper students a more well-rounded education.

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