Student Finds Creative Outlet Through Welding

Sophomore Grace Roberts presents one of the sculptures she created.

Sophomore Grace Roberts presents one of the sculptures she created.

Sophomore Grace Roberts has been taking matters into her own hands in and outside of school to learn and work on welding sculptures. Roberts said welding can often be stressful, but she enjoys it overall.

“Welding is really fun, but it can be really stressful if you get stuck on a weld that you just can’t finish,” Roberts said. “Grinding can be really relaxing or just a pain to do because it takes a long time, but overall it’s really nice.”

Roberts said she was inspired to make a certain design by her mom’s coworker. He made a similar object that she found interesting, so she decided to make something similar to it.

“I made a sunken ship, and an octopus, and a treasure chest with a little baby octopus in it,” Roberts said.

SkillsUsa Nebraska Program is a time for students to be recognized and rewarded for their excellence in certain categories. Roberts participates in this club for welding sculptures and said she has higher goals with it.

“I’d really like to go to Nationals for SkillsUsa for welding sculpture,” Roberts said. “Last year I made a squirrel and I got third place with that. This year, there was about 27 people in the same competition where as last year there was about ten, so I got eleventh place this year.”

Roberts said she has some ideas for next year with what she wants to do as a welding sculpting.

“Next year I plan to make a dragon and I really want it to be articulated so I can move the limbs and stuff,” Roberts said.

Welding and Robotics and Electronics instructor Paul Cross has helped Roberts with getting supplies and was responsible to transporting students to SkillsUsa.

“When it finally came all together I was just like ‘woah’, because I never saw like a sketch or drawing, but I knew she had something in her mind that really was going to turn out cool,” Cross said.

Cross said he has had times when he was worried Roberts wouldn’t finish the sculpture, but she came in during open mods and got everything completed within her own time.

“She just kind of had the octopus and then all of a sudden she had the base plate and she had the boat and then she had all the little tiny octopi made,” Cross said.

Cross said that he believes Roberts can create anything she wants if she puts her mind to it.

“She has a knack for a vision and then she just falls through and makes it,” Cross said. “Whatever it is, if it’s a squirrel, or if it’s a shipwreck with octopus with swords on them, it can be just about anything. Honestly, her only limitation here is how big she can make something and store it.”