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Episode 26 – Barbie the Welder – Metal Sculptor
Our featured guest is Barbie the Welder, a creative talent that uses industrial tools to create magnificent sculptures. She teaches, and she writes books on the topic of welding. Among her many accomplishments, she designed the Harley Davidson 115th Anniversary sculpture that has been seen around the world. She discusses with us how she became so creative handling tools that were designed more for industrial manufacturing than making art. Her journey in becoming a woman metal craftsman is a fascinating one. She is a strong proponent of supporting tradespeople in all classes of trade. She is an author and published a best-selling book. Barbie discusses the importance of staying healthy and fit. She needs to be strong to handle the very masculine tools she uses. Barbie the Welder is a star in the social media world, with thousands of followers that love to see the various metal sculptures she creates. Barbie also is a well-known teacher of welding, and people from all walks of life take her courses. Some just as a craft or hobby, others to pursue a career as a welder. In this Thought Row podcast episode, Barbie the Welder talks about some of the exciting projects that she has created for various clients and even did a live sculpting session at Sturgis, which was a major show-stopping success. She was invited on stage and introduced formally to an already admiring public. Listeners will be inspired by her positivity, work ethic, and her creative passion.
Barbie the Welder Metal Sculptor
00:00:17 – 00:05:01
Hey, didn’t you used to help your dad work on cars? Yes, I did and it was fun, you know, it’s really hard for me to imagine in G that you pushing a wrench and getting all dirty with those delicate. Little hands of yours. Yeah, first, it was a little hard but then my hands got stronger and I really enjoyed it while you’re not working on our cars now. Well, it’s a little different now. More complicated. Yeah, I guess so. Go to home. Hi everyone. And here we are celebrating what people love to do creatively by giving them a voice, I’m Ron Jones and I’m Angie Jones. Welcome to the thought, Rowe, podcast off, Vite, you to subscribe wherever you, listen and we are available virtually anywhere. You listen to podcasts. That’s right. And no matter what you do creatively, this is the podcast for you. Well, in fact, what are we discussing today? Today we’re going to be speaking with Barbie the welder. She is an artist who creates incredible works of art by welding metal. You know, I’m really excited off that. We’re going to be speaking with Barbie, she’s very creative. But with a specialist, she’s creative at a whole different medium than we typically never chat about welding metal. That’s quite a craft wage and requires quite a bit of talent, so true. So true. Well, how about your quilt? Okay? Our quote of the week is a man who works with his hands as a laborer, a man wage Works with his hands in his brain is a Craftsman and a man who works with his hands. His brain and his heart is an artist. And that is by Louis, Nizer dial, that’s impressive. Quote, you know what would be a good idea if you said it one more time, okay? A man who works with his hands, is a laborer, a man who works with his hands in his brain is a Craftsman but man who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist. Wow, I can’t imagine that. Anybody, that is a craftsperson, would not clearly understand that because you really are working with your hands and your brain in order to make all that happen. True. And I also want to make a comment. I know it says a man who works with it’s just a figure of speech because I feel like that applies to really anyone anyone that is creative or anyone that was on wants to do crafting, or building or electrical whatever you want to do. Well, There’s Crafts People Craftsman, that are women. Absolutely, no legal women that hang drywall. Yeah, there are high demand because they’re so talented. They’re so good at it, right? They’ve perfect job. They really know how to tape and put them out on the joints and stuff. They’re experts at it. But there’s also women out there that are electricians plumbers near them doing that you know. Yeah. And women have a certain finesse two for certain things you know you can tell the times. Yeah and our hands are smaller so sometimes it’s more convenient. You know what you’re doing little fine detail things like even electrical things with wires and things I feel like that is something that makes it easier. Sure, absolutely right. So okay now it’s time for rods motivation. A moment. What do you have for us today? Well today here’s what I have think about what your hands can do creatively virtually. No great work of art could ever wage. Accomplished without Dependable hands and a determined mind. Guiding them. Absolutely, absolutely. And we were talking about earlier about how there’s so many crafts that you don’t even really consider as a craft really well. Yeah. You know you use your hands for so many things. Obviously all day long, use your hands. Even if you’re sitting down computer, you use your hands. But I think that real talent comes with how you use your hands to create something and the feeling of accomplishment you have afterwards, your hands are a miracle and they should never be taken lightly. They really are important to you. But let’s think about all the things that you can build or make or do with your hands. Exactly, and it seems to me that people that make a living working with their hands share, a common trait of being content after they complete their day’s work.
00:05:01 – 00:10:00
Yeah, absolutely dead. And there’s nothing. I think anybody that makes something with their hands, rather be baking a cake or a quilter. I mean, after you complete a day’s worth of work working on a quilt camp and you take a look at it, and you go, wow, I did that. And I used my true, my brain power and my hands in order to make it. But I know plumbers electricians Carpenters, at the end of the day, they can look back and say, oh well look what I managed to accomplish today I actually finished off that piece of furniture. I’ve been working on for three months and they sit back and look at it and they’re very proud wage. But but I also know plumbers, who install a new water heater. After the job is done, in the homeowner says, wow, what a great job you did for me? There’s a lot of Pride and a sense of pride, of course, at a job. Well done. Well, it’s so true. But, you know, I have to share something personal. I know that when I work on the computer, it’s not very tactile. Yes, you see a website down Felt or something that you’ve done written whatever. And it’s gratifying on one hand, but it’s not as gratifying as if you fake something or something, or redecorated, something or made a piece of art where it’s very tactile. And I think, sometimes in the tech industry, people get that burn out because they are not able to see their work in a tactile media. I think they get very frustrated. I mean, yeah. You you have a great sense of accomplishment if you hang a set of mountains. Yeah, because you go, I did this. Yes, that’s great. You’re sitting in front of a computer all day and you’re you’re you’re using your hands. I mean you are tight. Are you’re creating in? You’re creating a requires. A lot of abstract thinking to build a website, Etc, but sitting back and looking at a finished piece of work that you actually built. It could be a painting to, you know, or it could be something that song. Piece of furniture that you built, or just a toy that you built for your child if you sewed, some an outfit or pillows for couch, I mean, you you get to look at it every day so your wage. Yes, I made that. Well, when it comes to working with your hands, I am very, very thankful. I had shop classes in high school years. You know what? Without those days from those boxes, I probably would have never graduated from high school. Well, I’m I’m thankful that you went to the classes, you did, cuz you’re able to do so many things in the home, you know, when you have time to do them, so it’s very cool. Well, I think the one aspect of that is a great teachers, I loved what I was doing. And then when I went complete an interesting piece that can remember one time wage, I created a wood carving, wood bowl, then a carved on the lathe and I took it home after I finished it and I showed my mom and dad and my mom and dad were so proud of that. Of course, my dog. Kept that forever. I mean she never ever let that go same with a couple of other pieces that I made in Woodshop become prized possessions of your parents, you know. And that one thing about that is you can’t hang it on a refrigerator door know, but you get to use it and we still have the cutting board. The g eight as well, which I love so great. It still is just fine. It works. Good as well, of course. Yeah, but once a person experiences accomplishing tasks with their hands, like you did making something out of wood or even fixing a leaky faucet. There’s a tremendous sense of Pride and accomplishment that sets in. And of course every man runs to his wife and says hey I fix this leaky faucet and we didn’t have to hire somebody, right? Yeah. And within a millisecond month or two after that happens, the wife comes back and says all of a sudden. She has a whole list to the hey, how about repairing this, or you know, what this needs to be fixed? Or why don’t you hang a painting job? Or hang a mirror over the fireplace for me, we’ve been meaning to do that for years and then all of a sudden he becomes a home crafts person and it’s really amazing at how many things, a man actually does run the house, but you know what? It isn’t just men. I’ve met men, that just really have no idea what to do with tools and their wives, do all that stuff. It’s so cheap. You know, they’ll have a leaky faucet and he’ll complain to his wife, you know. Can you fix that leaky faucet? And she’ll come back and say yes, I can because my dad taught me how to do this kind of stuff, right? So it’s really great. Well. Hopefully you have someone around the house that can do some of these home repairs. If it’s a man or woman or a teenager or whoever, because it’s so much handier and you can, you know, get everything repaired without having to call out necessarily especially if you have a serious problem that needs to be addressed right away and you can’t you can’t wait can’t get a Craftsman to come out in a timely manner.
00:10:00 – 00:15:02
So you know, I have to mention one off About women and using their hands. I have a friend of mine, whose wife literally rebuilt, a muscle car from the sixties and she did it. As far as I know. She did it all herself and the car is beautiful. She shows it off on Instagram drive around. It’s gorgeous, gorgeous. It’s really something that that they can be proud of. But his wife, she did all the work on it and she can idea this is when she wanted to do and she figured out and do it and she got it done. Well it’s absolutely stunning and beautiful. They did such a good job. Well let’s bring on our special guess she. Okay Barbie the welder. I am so excited to talk with her off. Barbie, welcome to the thought, Rowe podcast. I know in G, and I’ve been really looking forward to chatting with you. We’ve learned so much about you on social media, you’re pretty amazing. Oh yeah, we can’t wait to talk with you today and so glad to have you with this. Oh, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate that. Well, we’ve been really looking forward to having you as a guest, but, I know and she has a question for you, do we ask all of our guests and we’re curious, what did you have for breakfast this morning Barbie? Oh I had an apple, an orange and a cup of coffee pretty healthy stuff pretty healthy. We always like to ask people this question because then gives us ideas of what we should eat. But that was real healthy Barbie, that’s super healthy. Yeah, and and easy, it’s it’s not ever. It was a, definitely a rush this morning, normally, it’s oatmeal with raspberries and ginger that I love very much, like homemade dead Oatmeal that I make device payments ago today. I was ready to get into the shop has breakfast enter to the. Let us know. Really good with oatmeal. So okay, today we’re getting were expected to have you like we told you but it is really uncommon for women to be a welder. Can you tell us how you got into the business? I saw the movie Castaway starring Tom Hanks and the beginning of that movie, there’s this woman, it’s like a 15-second clip where she is welding these giant angel wings and it’s it’s dark and she’s in his boss and she’s got the hood down in the Sharks and Sparks are flying everywhere, and the FedEx guy comes through. And so. So I’ve got a package for you. And she flips up her hood and it’s a girl and I’m like, oh my gosh, I could explain how I knew, but like, I’ve never welded before and no background in art, like no history of art, no artistic talent, just speak all of and I just knew them. I needed to make sculpture. Wow, that’s incredible to be so inspired by such a short role in that film. Well, obviously really connected with you because something something connected. There you have the knack for it. Not, I mean not everybody would have the name for that kind of thing. Yeah, I did not have the knack for it. When I first started what you’re seeing is thousands and thousands of hours of obsession. Well, every, you know, all art takes a little bit of practice. So I’m not surprised by your answer that one. Well, yeah, there’s two things going on. I mean, she’s using, you know, it’s one thing to pick up a paintbrush on T. It’s quite a different. Have a whole Shop full of equipment. Yeah, to do what you do. Exactly Barbie. Were you ever, I guess? Apparently weren’t. But could I would say that you’re a welder by trade? Is that correct? Yeah, definitely. I love being a welder. I’m very, very proud to be a welder and do you do any commercial welding then? No way Jose. Completely full time part for the last seven years. That’s wonderful years September 1st will be seven years. I’ve been a full-time artist, that’s so fantastic. Good for you, you know, as a welder jobs are obviously working with metal and the enemy or not work with wood you’re not carving or anything like that. Why do you like work with metal man? It’s an unyielding material and I love that through Thursday. I can take something that’s a very you know most people look at it and they’ll think it’s ugly and I use a lot of scrap metal and what I do. So I’ll take something that most people wouldn’t look twice at. And I’m a beautiful know to be able to bend metal and shape it and form it and give it a life that it didn’t have before. It’s definitely a beautiful feeling. You know, you posted I think I saw on a linked in the Metro or so but the soul of vibrant Soul boot. Oh yeah, that was gorgeous. Quite a quite a challenge. So, to craft that, that is a small part of a very large sculpture that I’m creating currently. Oh, so they’ll be two shoes.
00:15:02 – 00:20:09
Oh, yeah, there are new shoes, and a five foot tall, man, to stand inside of them. No kidding. Wow, that’s incredible in person to see and you went all the way down to making the vibrant Soul on the bottom of the boat. I mean I have boots like that. So often could relate, but mine aren’t as heavy as the ones you’re making. These are those are a little bit heavier than my normal boots. Our yard so bad that I think they were about. They came in about 8,000 pounds each. Oh my goodness. It wouldn’t. What material were using to make those? That’s still feel, okay, I use steel in a majority. Like, almost all of my sculptures are still dead. Know, is this sculpture going to go anywhere? Where everyone can see it? Yes, it is for an initiative called Rock the trades, which honors skilled job. It’s been a women that are in the working in the trades also is to showcase the trade so that we can encourage new people to check out the trades and see the opportunities available in there. So the same here, actually incorporates tools from 5 to a rough. Guess, like eight or nine different trades like electricians and all that. Yes, yep, I crowd-sourced the tools Home Depot Center Tools in that they they’ve used their grandparents had used different people in their family that worked in the trades and those tools are being sculpted into the man and into the choice of the sculpture. It’s going to be read, literally sculpting, you’re not duplicating those pieces in battle. You’re actually incorporating them in the sculpture correct. Wow, that is really regrettable really incredible. I hope. So, I do my job. How you doing my job, right? It will be. When do you think that’s going to be completed? I’ve got five weeks to age. Fleet. So in 4 and 1/2 Weeks. It’ll be completely. Wow, we appreciate you taking the time to talk. Yes, you don’t have time to breathe at this point. Wow, that’s why I had the apple and orange. I’ve got quite a bit done since I worked on the boot. This body framed out and have started to incorporate the tools and my goodness. One. Quick question to ask you, I know you’re using steel, is there any part of this or using rebar? Actually not, I didn’t even think about it. But as you were saying like that’s a, it’s a brilliant move, and rebar would have been a cool piece for it. No, one Centre bar in rebar in construction is, it’s like the skeletal part of a building and everything else. Whether you steal to Thursday, I say, it’s not too late. There’s still plenty of room. Yeah. So if anybody hears, this may be a way for people to some stuff in but I can go find some. I know I’ve got some probably poking around the house somewhere off. Well, is it going to be construction sites going to be missing rebar now there’s the bridge. Exactly. Okay. I have to ask this one more question, is it going to be a male or a female? Then it is a mail at this time. My mission, My Hope Is that and it’s a discussion that we’ve had is that I will be able to make a female next year. Oh, cool. You don’t have a partner. Yeah, when we look at the trades as a whole, I believe we’re looking at around 5%, women are in the trade. So my initial design was to create a man first because that does represent the largest portion of the trades. Yeah. But I also spoke to them early on about creating a female so that when women look at that sculpture, they can see themselves working in the trades until we show case. Women in the trades, women won’t be able to see themselves in the trades. Know, you know, we know women that are the trades. We actually worked with some drywallers that were to walk. And they had a nice drywalling business and boy, could they tape, and they knew how to slap mud on. It was kind of like their baking, a cake. You know? There is an arch. It isn’t because that’s true. Absolute art. Yeah. Cause I mean we’ve had to do it, ourselves, and believe me. It’s more fun to watch somebody else to do it. And say, I grew up doing that working with my dad, who was a jack-of-all-trades. My parents bought a hundred year old farm house, I was about ten years old and each year, we would remodel a different room. And so I was I was a drywall lift. And, oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Apparently you can rent. One of them things for 15 box. Yeah. I just learned to have like four or five years ago. I’m like, are you kidding me? He goes it. Builds character. Well, you also must have had to do a little electrical work and you had to do some trimming little bit afraid. I think he did most of the framing I definitely did electrical. I did Plumbing, I did the drywall. I actually put in phones help Run phone lines in the home. So they’ll page me. No kidding. But you know, all of those things are all those different kinds of tasks have led you to becoming more used to using tools off and making things happen with tools, right? Yes.
00:20:09 – 00:25:13
Absolutely. So true. And you know, I was thinking back to when you’re talking about your sculpture with the shoe that weighs eight pounds and took my question is, is welding physically demanding for you? Yes, it is. How do you prepare for that? It’s joyful, right? Like, you don’t work out and it’s hard work to do home work out. But when you’re done, it feels really good, right? And so it’s a similar situation as that and how do I prepare? I just do it the day before I get a is everyday right? Always staying fit. Yeah yes, yeah I think eating well probably is a huge help that for I guess all all year long. But I’ve always been pretty like I love candy and I eat or ropes and love ice cream and also eat really healthy most of the time so that I don’t feel bad. If I took a couple under drugs, good balance, that’s a Palestine about balance, right? Yeah you know when we had our previous chat with you we talked a little bit about horseshoes and the Book Project how did that come to be? Oh my gosh, that’s interesting. So, early on, when I created my art, I was looking at people’s thoughts are on Pinterest and Google and I was seeing what people was doing and I was creating it. I was like looking at it and then figuring out and problem-solving. How they made it and that would make it myself. And I got into a couple of horseshoe projects that were really cool. I found a horseshoe wine rack that I thought was really neat and easy and so I made it a friend. Came into my shop and took pictures. And he’s amazing photographer, which it’s he’s part-time photographer, but he’s an amazing photographer. And I posted a picture on Pinterest and it went viral. And to this day, I thou’d ended up with, like 12,000 likes on it or wine rack. My wife will come up, but what had happened was somewhere during that time of it going viral. Publishing Company saw that and approached me through email and asked me if I could write a book. Now, I had been approached about someone giving me a well during the week before that was just kind of Hocus and I’m not sure exactly what the endgame on that was but I you know I for a little bit thought they were going to give me a welder so that I could promote them and I just did not happen. So when I got the email for the book publishing, I thought that was also hocus. Oh my gosh. And so they said, can you write a book? And when they first approached me, they said, 25 horseshoe projects. Now, of course, said, yes. Because I’m the kind of person that says, yes and figures it out later. But I did also thought it was a joke, then they came back and smoking. You do a book with Thursday Horseshoe Project. Sounds like, of course I can and still thinking it’s hocus and then they sent a document for me to sign and I signed them sent it back and still thought it was Baptist and then they sent me a check, is it Downstream? That was not hocus. So, I was in awe. I was in a little bit of shock English as my worst subject in school. I’ve always struggled with it and now I’ve got to write this book because I’ve got money. Yeah. And so, I actually Googled like the parts of a book, like I don’t know. I’ve never written book before, you know, I’m pretty sure I got kicked out of a couple English classes in high school and just woke And I struggled in high school, I was very intelligent but just struggled, but English was just not a subject that I cared anything for. And so I didn’t even know I had a Google with an index was in a forward and like all the things and sat down and wanted to get back to welding. But knew I needed to do this project and so I gave myself forty hours a week, right? And they told me I had to write 25000 words. Oh, and then I had a I think it was a 15%. I could go either way over under 15% off about no sorry 10% over under. So in forty hours I wrote 23500 words. Took 420 pictures and welded 30 horseshoe projects created and founded the Horseshoe projects. So that I had him, he had to invent those things. So I, I definitely bit off more than I could chew with that, but that situation dead? Many, many others that I’ve faced throughout my career, as an artist was death ground, it’s you say, yes you don’t know how you’re going to do, what you’re saying, you’re going to do but once you say, yes, you have to figure it out and so that death ground is its success or the death of your, you know, your reputation or your career.
00:25:13 – 00:30:09
And so I found through that that one I thrive on death row off into, it’s a great way to motivate music. Yeah, it’s a great figure it out later. Oh, you’re very resourceful, let you know, a little secret that a lot of people go about me. I would have never graduated from high school if it wasn’t for shop classes. Oh oh, that’s so relatable. Yeah, I mean, it was so relatable shot, metal shop. I mean the the the Russian both and I didn’t spend too much time they’d electrical shop raided too much of that. And the same, with the same situation you had with your father. My father, literally rebuilt, our house built a second birth. You next her house and I grew up pounding Nails, holding up a wall, only rope, and all that kind of stuff. So it does make you more resourceful. I mean, I think that’s why you’re creative one hand, but you’re very resourceful. It’s issue can be resourceful to do what you do. Yes, ya siting, it is, I think it’s such a great way to grow up, but my dad was always a purpose stuff and you know, like drive by a dumpster and there’s a beat-up trailer that goes behind the lawnmower in there. The big dent in the side and the axles bent and we will back right up to it off and pick it out and he will go and fix it. Now, he’s gosh, is he pushing eighty? Holy snag. He’s he’s like upper seventies and still to this day is creating stuff like he was in my shop. I think two weeks ago with a cast iron bench with a lattice design on the ballot that the leg was broken on and he’s like dead. The woods completely rotted on it, and he just he loves to, he loves to Tinker and make and build and do. And he loves to see something that, you know, that was something that was thrown by the side of the road that song going to leave someone left for dead, right? And he don’t completely wet and build it back up and head sitting out in front of their house. Now, it’s beautiful. Very cool. It’s like found art really at that point recreated. Yeah, and purposed. You know I wanted to ask you when you are creating your sculptures, what kind of tools do you use other than you know, of course you’re welding, is there any particular tool that I use consistently? That’s like, so valuable for you. My most valuable tool in the shop is my imagination. That’s a good. Answer is a great answer. I love that answer. What is it for a given us an answer, but now you’re brilliant, your gym kind of it. By the way, if it’s going to be a man and you need a something to do with the rebar giving birth Rebar Moustache, you know what? I look at your finished pieces there. The metal is to me is highly polished. What’s your project or sculpting? The metal and how do you get to that high polished finish peace. Because what metal is kind of rough and rugged looking underneath the surface of it could be very polished off. You doing that, how are you chief that? I am using burbot, they’re double carbide Burr, bits that are made for maybe like, Corning out a whole, or I don’t even know what they’re normally is for. I use them to surface the metal. I just run them across the surface of a metal very quickly, and it gives it a very polished unique. I’ve got videos on YouTube where I teach people how to finish metal and that’s one of the things I teach in them, but those things are they, they throw off little tiny metal splinters. Yeah. There’s probably the only game Meaning of my existence. I will, I haven’t used them in a few days and I still have little metal, slivers my finger. So if you guys use them, use gloves, use eyeglass that you safety glasses and use a faith-filled on top of the safety glasses. Please. Oh, okay. But they are wonderful. And really allow you to do some amazing texture to your material or peacock do have a lot of texture in them. Yeah, and also, I mean, the shine with a sure, it’s not just a substitute image, send kro, me shine. It’s got dementia, right? Exactly. I, you know, when we talked to you earlier before the podcast, you mentioned you had done a project for Harley-Davidson. Tell us how you ended up doing that result in terms of it. Yeah we some pictures of it man. I want to talk about mind-blowing experience. Yeah I’ve actually created two sculptures for Harley-Davidson. One was created Live at Sturgis in 2018 dead. And the other one is crazy back up and say you did it Live at Sturgis? Yeah, the one that is hog, hog, the Harley Owners Group, I created jobs that is the scariest thing I did to that date.
00:30:09 – 00:35:05
That’s another death ground, move that I did. So two sculptures for Harley-Davidson started out like this. I was eating breakfast at a diner locally and I love little greasy spoon diners and I was enjoying breakfast on a Sunday Morning by myself. And me, being me, I was on Instagram and I was going through answering people that write to me. And I happened to say that Jesse James Dupree, the lead singer. For Jackyl was following me on Instagram and now I can’t tell you how much this means to me thoughts and words because it’ll never describe. But this man, this band is someone that I’ve listened to since I can remember and just absolutely love them. Yeah. And was shot. And Overjoyed to see that he actually was following me on social media on Instagram. I was like, oh my gosh. And so, I went to his website because I was just, like, what is he doing, right? Like, I haven’t heard any new stuff and which I also out of the loop. So I went to his website and started poking around and saw that he had his own Burbank, Jesse James Bourbon. And I was like, that’s awesome. And there is a level of stuff that I want to Brand like, in my business. And so I thought, you know what? He’s following me off. He already knows I exist, I’m just going to take a chance and reach out to him and ask him how he got two brand his own whiskey because like, that’s the thing I want to do, like not, not whiskey, but definitely yeah. On a large scale, level brand stuff. And so I just on a humbug, I reached out to him on Instagram and I was like, hey, you know, how did you get to Brand your own whiskey? And I’ll be dipped man, wage Five minutes later, he wrote me back when he’s like, give me 15 minutes and I’m going to call you. I’m sitting at this Diner and I’m trying not to scream out loud quickly quickly, like shove my breakfast back, pay for my breakfast and go sit out my truck and he called me and spent like, forty-five minutes on the phone with me, talking and just explaining how he’s done different stuff. And I was just overjoyed and just just mind-blown, right? Just like my, this is the one that’s been a year old mine. I can’t even believe. They took some time to talk with me. Well, 2 weeks later, I get a message from him. He says, hey, we need to talk, I’m saying, okay. Well Harley-Davidson had hired him to promote them at Sturgis. Jesse also owns happy coiled Campground a.m. In Sturgis South Dakota it is connected that to Full Throttle Saloon him and him and Michael like I don’t know if they co-owned the property. They each have their own place there they connect and it’s an amazing Place. Amazing place to hang out for Sturgis. He contacted me. He says, listen, I would like to have you create two sculptures for Harley-Davidson. It’s there’s 35th anniversary of hog and it’s 115th anniversary of Harley means, like, I would like you to make a sculpture for each of those and we’d like you to come out to Pappy. Hoel Campground stay here and well live. And I was like, no problem again saying yes and figuring out later. Now, I have welded very simple, sculptures live and vice a simple sculpture wage. The entry-level stuff, is the Horseshoe stuff that I told you. I, I welded and took pictures and did the finishing of those Thirty Thirty projects in eight hours. I mean, like, I can Hammer wage. They’re easy for me, a masterpiece sculpture for Harley-Davidson, the represents hog and the, you know, hundreds of thousands of hog members. Yeah, that’s a whole other animal. So, I figured out I I took my truck, I’m from upstate, New York, loaded up my truck and put my welder in it. I made a table set up a table with a little weld curtain around it so I can weld and still see people loaded up all my art and drove the 24 hours out to Sturgess by myself. I set up a tent set up my art and just went to work and took me, I think nine and a half days. I was there or 8 and 1/2 days, something like that. I’d have to look back at my pictures to tell you how long, but I’ll tell you, it was a scariest thing I’ve not done because normally, when I create a masterpiece, it’s a loan in my shop with no distractions, right? You got a lot of distractions and every one of their mom was and I love, I love people so much and I love doing a job. Was like that I’ve only wanted to hear about my stuff and how I got into welding and you know like all the all the bikers are coming through and I’m definitely, I love motorcycles.
00:35:05 – 00:40:03
Just love them. And so I’m like Googling, you know, like like Googling the the bikes that are coming by cuz I mean like I’m a high traffic area normally Davidson is right across from me. I mean, it was incredible. I think 2 hours before it was supposed to be on stage because he was presenting it live to Harley-Davidson on stage. So like 2 and 1/2 hours before it was supposed to be on stage with Jesse. I finished. It was the most. Wow, huge accomplishment. But he was like, he gave me a backstage pass, which is just an experience of a lifetime and I was all excited. I’m going to get to watch him, give Harley-Davidson the sculpture. And so in the middle of a jackal concert at Full Throttle Saloon, he starts talking about the sculpture So, I reach into my cowboy boot, I take out my cell phone, and I’m going to get a picture of them presenting it, so I can show my mom and dad, oh, he calls me out on stage. Oh, no, kidding. Oh, I had no idea my cell phone back in my boot and going out out of staged. And I’m just like, you know, thousands of cheering people. It was the most surreal experience. Oh, I could. Yeah. I bet it was a real experience. You know, there’s going to be people that listen to this podcast that don’t know what Sturgis is and we’re not going to tell them you know, or go to just say Google it and learn everything about you get the whole explanation explanation of it. You know, we kind of kind of move on a little bit. Heavy use tools, such a wonderful story and I believe you’re sharing that, you know, that really that really is is wonderful in every respect. Yeah. The one thing I want to say, you’re not only a talented sculptor but yo, Extremely popular on YouTube and we’re going to have links for people so they can check out comedian. Other social media, why do you think Barbie, why do you think people are so interested in you off as a welder besides all the fame you had. It’s just I think it’s because I’m unforgivably myself and I’m very honest about when I make mistake or Thursday, I’m struggling with something and I think people relate to the, the realness of it. You know, a lot of people will create social media and it’s, you know, they’re really good with Instagram filter, you know, like a lot of stuff in our society. Now, they say a lot of things too that are probably pushing it a little. Yeah, yeah, I have no filter. I was not born with the filter off and so I feel that that’s relatable, I say stuff that people probably pretty well, you know, I think one of the reasons why we’re so excited to have you on the podcast based off. Early conversation with you. And what we’ve learned about you is that you are really truly a genuine person, very generous person fake or phony. We’d like to use the word authentic, but you’re genuine Choice. Israel, it’s really refreshing, very refreshing. Well, thank you so much. Let’s see. Now, all I wanted to ask a question about women in the trades cuz you had mentioned earlier about how there’s only 5% of women in the trades, which really shocked me, I would think in this day and age would be a lot of women that are doing that because their certainly talented and then good incomes creating wage and flexible hours and they’re mine Demand right now. The Building Trades are in high demand. So can women excel in welding at this point? Do you feel like it’s off at the point in time where people can go? Okay, we’re ready for women welders or is there still a little bit of stigma that it’s a guy thing. We’ve been ready for women. Welders since forever. Yeah, I was dead. Us to find welding thirteen years ago. And I was not a mechanic before I was a welder. Hm, because of how, my dad raised me, I never saw gender when it came to something I like to do and I think that as the generations move forward like my kids generation, I think that there is less of a stigma, you know. This is a boy job and this is a girl job and I think that more I think social media is a blessing. Yeah. And that the women that are out there in the, you know, in the skilled trades, whether there an auto mechanic wage or a carpenter or contractor or you know, whatever we’re showing we’re showing that we’re showcasing the, you know, the careers that are in the trades and when other women see themselves, when they can see themselves in the trades when they see another woman, they can see themselves in it. And so I think social media is going to play a major role in dead. The increase of women in the skilled trades but I think that we’re just at such a deficit of skilled Tradesmen.
00:40:03 – 00:45:08
Yeah we’re home. We need skilled trades with more because we’ve got so many people are retiring and there was such a huge push for college that the skilled trades got pushed to the Wayside back. And well, that’s a college has pushed that the teachers push at The Faculty pushes it because that’s how they maintain their jobs. But if you need to have your heater fixed, you can call a professor at Cornell, right? Yeah. That’s true. Well, it just gets down to that. We will all depend upon skilled tradespeople, electrician whatever, and then building right now in this country needs to start taking off, and it is starting to take off, and you can’t build a house without having multiple skilled tradespeople. That’s just the way it is. I think it’s exciting for the trades because dead I think that they’re going to come up there, there’s going to be a lot of people coming that are going to bring some really unique mindset, some skills, right? I also think that there could be even more financial opportunity in the trades, because there is a lap, right? Right now. I honestly think that the like, the already high-paying positions, the skilled trades. I think they’re going to pay even more. Yeah. Well next is going to be there’s such a demand form you know you share it really interesting things with this and I’m kind of interested is there ever been a welding project that you really wanted to do but you just haven’t quite achieved the technical skill to make it happen. Nope. It goes back to unless I will see you then for the whole rest of my life. I will never stop learning right. There are a lot of people in welding that have forgotten more than I’ve ever known, but anything I’ve ever wanted to do? I just I’m a Problem. Solver at home. I am I figure it out what project? Then have you derived the most pleasure in doing? Oh gosh all of them. But this one I’m working on. Currently, the Tradesman has brought me the most joy and satisfaction they they all do. They all bring me, joy? I don’t do anything. That doesn’t make my heart sing, but this one here, because it honors the men and women that have come before me, that have worked in the skilled trades and it’s going to create awareness around the possibilities and the opportunities and the skilled trades. It makes me want to cry. Everytime, I think about it with joy that I get to be the person that gets to make this. You know, this is going to shape so many people’s lives when I get done with them. I yeah, absolutely. You know, I was looking over my questions and I think the one that I read really liked asked us as a woman. What advice would you give other women that wage Like to pursue a career as a welder. Go for a. Oh my gosh. Go for it. Just do you ever find yourself in a place where you’re not treated with love and respect? You know, remove because there are places that are there are still there, sexism everywhere, I mean, men can’t be nurses. I mean like there’s sexism for men too. It’s not just that whether it’s in a career or anywhere in your life. If you’re not being treated with the love and respect that you deserve which is all of the love and respect, then just kick rocks and go find a place where you do and that’s that’s really good advice and I generally if it fits with what you said, earlier about gender and talent, it’s there is no, you’re talented, no matter what gender you are at that point, you know. I’ve heard a lot of people have said that women make better tig welders because they have better hand-eye coordination. Now whether that’s true or not, I’m not sure but I definitely have heard it from several people. Well you know, there is a lot of birth That in fact, when it comes to assembling really fine, little electronic components and stuff, women had the Finesse and they have smaller fingers and they have the Finesse and they can abstract think and they can make page things happen. So, yeah, I mean, there’s women have finessed that a lot of times men don’t have a man will a man will pick up a bigger Hammer. A woman will pick up a wrench and you took a hammer. Yeah, I knew you were maybe the quick answer, where do you see yourself in five years? There’s no quick answer for this. One thing I definitely plan on creating a TV show around, honoring the skilled trades and the Tradesman and the artists that they are. These I will be in a larger shop but I don’t know what that I’ll be in. So the states can start arm wrestling over me now, and just working with clients all over the world, to create masterpieces that make my heart really happy. Well, that’s an interesting people to go into the trades. I mean, I can I can keep going. No, I think what you did is I think that’s a perfect answer and if there’s any governors of any particular state that would like to get rid of tax credits for relocating, your shop.
00:45:08 – 00:48:37
Please do not hesitate to call Barbie or any gray or grants are always. Welcome. I love you. Thank you so much, okay, so now we’re going to ask you a question that we’ve been asking all of our guests which is if you could sit on a park bench and chat with anyone from the Past, who would it be. Nikes? What a great question. Yeah, we told you we’d like to give you the questions, I think it’s phenomenal. I think it’s better that. I don’t know. I like the off-the-cuff, right. I think it’s, there’s more creativity. There’s more Purity and more sincerity there. It’s not by rote. Gosh, I feel like feel like Marcus Aurelius would suck. Would be the person I want to sit down with us. Very interesting and a great answer Jerry of excellent answer at the Barbie. That’s one of the better answers. We’ve had absolutely awful good. I don’t wear a slight anybody they’ve all been really good but they all have the opportunity to think about it for several days, you had to pull that one up pretty quickly from your memory foam. That’s that is an excellent answer. Bravo on that one. Very good. You know, we’d have to wrap this up, but I have to say, you have been a fantastic guests, you’re not only very creative but you’re very intelligent in the way. You think about things, I can see how you construct things by welding and being creative that way. But your your mind is quick and you you do real abstract thinking, no, no, both right? We really appreciate, we really appreciate you being a guest. Yeah, so I’m I’m deeply honored that you guys would take your time and want to talk with me. Thank God. So much. Oh, you’re welcome. We see great things for your feet, you’ve already created great things but you’re probably your career is just starting. It’s going to really take really Blossom even more. Yeah. I mean people will listen to this podcast to learn about you and they can take some of the courses and things that you’ve created on YouTube or certainly learn more about you. Exactly. And also, I’ll let everyone know if you want to know more about Barbie, the welder will have links for Barbie in the show notes and also under the show guests tab on thought rope podcast.com. So everyone can learn more about her and please connect with her and social media and check out our website. Barbie, thank you. You’re absolutely a great guest and kind of excited to walk you to share some. Yeah really interesting anecdotes about your creative life. It’s an honor guys. Thank you kindly. Okay. Bye-bye. Bye-bye I’m really glad you tuned in today. We hope you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas. We shared with you. We post a new podcast every week. So remember to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. So it’s bye for now from my husband rod, and I wishing everyone a great day. Thursday.