By Noor Ibrahim
My journey at SMCC has been marvelous! I have learned many things and certainly have enjoyed the stunning scenery that surrounds the campus.
Because I’m a Liberal Studies major, I’m lucky enough to explore the many courses this school has to offer. Among the classes I have taken, there was one in particular that was life-changing; it was Metal Arts I. This class has many features that make it worth the effort.
In this class, the first thing you will learn is courage and attaining an adventurous spirit. Working with large and heavy equipment was new and scary for me. However, with practice, cutting, sanding, bending, melting, and welding metal in an artistic fashion was a thrill!
I have also found that because the course requires intense concentration (the machines are not toys and can be very dangerous), there is a therapeutic feel to it. It also helps with relieving stress, and is a good escape from other academic courses. The artistic part of this course can be quite challenging. You will be required to make three different projects for the final: cold form, hot form, and mixed media.
The most exciting project is the hot form. The reason is, it’s easier to melt than to bend. For me, I have crafted many form models for my final product. Many of them failed. I began to scrutinize the core issue and used my problem-solving skills to learn from my mistakes. It is crucial to plan ahead and trust your skills and vision, and to learn from failed works. This process is excellent for strengthening patience and confidence.
There is also the beauty of satisfaction in refining an (almost) raw material. The sanding belt will be your best friend if you like to make things shiny and smooth.
There will be many opportunities to learn ahead in this course to produce a well-crafted sculpture. This skill will become an automatic system little by little; however, it takes a good amount of passion and care to reach such a level of diligence.
To conclude, sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone will have many surprises to offer! I have learned many skills in this class, and most importantly, I feel more in control. Perspective is also important. If you are more of a technical person, you might construct functional objects instead of pure randomness put together and titled with the word “art.”
A metal sculpture created by the author. Photo by Noor Ibrahim