Instructor: Tom Gingras
Tom specializes in a technique he calls “tack and bend”, whereby rods of virtually any welded material are tack-welded into place and bent to the desired outline. Open areas are then filled to create fluid “ribbons” of materials and the entire surface is welded on both sides. This very difficult, laborious, and unique style is strikingly exhibited in much of Tom’s work. His work elegantly expresses organic, fluid, dynamic forms captured in a frozen moment of action utilizing harmonious lines and grace-full, elongated “S” curves, in the spirit of the Renaissance masters, but with the freedom offered by the strength of metals. Tom states: “I embrace the challenge of attempting to express un-solid things like smoke, fire, mist, hair, or water, and energy forms in motion, thereby touching something of the common essence that we share in our human experience and evolving consciousness. I like to think of these forms mingling with and embracing the spaces that they share”.
I was fortunate to be able to study under Master Metalsmith, Gary Noffke, from 1969-1971 at Stetson University. During this time he showed me how to weld, forge, and to form and beautify vessels from flat sheet. These basic kills became the rudiments of the courses with which we began the Art Metals Program at Austin Community College in 1989, where I have taught ever since. I have been blessed to have wonderful clients throughout the years that have kept me in commissioned work. I feel as though this work has helped me develop technically as well as artistically, it has helped my work retain a fresh edge, and it has given me some wonderful friends in the community. All of this has been of ultimate benefit to my students in the same way that my observations of Gary's work ethic served me.I am delighted to join forces with the Courtney Gray and the Creative Side team in order to bring these years of experience to this wonderful community of students so we can share an atmosphere of efficient instruction, commitment to quality, passion for artistry, technical comprehension and skill development, and childlike fun as we de-mystify the art of welded sculpture.
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