Welding works of art

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Welding is Amber Gallagher’s forte, a hobby that started while she was building gates on her family’s Mackenzie farm.
Amber (15) has added a range of intricate designs to her hobby, including an ornamental duck welded together using horseshoes. It is among the many items in next week’s Mackenzie Art Auction.
‘‘I started welding at the end of last year,’’ Amber said.
While making the gates, she decided to try making one on her own and has since developed a love of the trade.
Amber believes her ability to weld came as a slight surprise to her dad, Paul.
‘‘I think he was [surprised], but he kind of knew because I’m not a, like, a girly-girl,’’ she said. ‘‘My granddad always wanted to do welding. I guess I’ve just carried it on.’’
Amber’s go-to person for feedback on her creations was her mum, Ngaire.
‘‘After I’ve finished my things I get her advice on how I can improve,’’ she said.
Amber develops her skill using a Mig welder and has also visited the team at Gibson Bros, a welding and engineering firm.
‘‘I went there for a couple of days . .. it was kind of like work experience. Hopefully, next year I can go down there to do Gateway, one day per week.’’
The Gateway programme gives pupils a chance to experience an industry they are interested in to see if they want to pursue it as a career.
Amber, who is in year 11 at Mackenzie College, was already looking forward to a career in engineering but had yet to decide in what capacity.
In the meantime, she has plenty of scope to build on her skill base.
‘‘I use Dad’s equipment and at the start of last year Dad bought a Mig welder, so I could potter around and learn different techniques.’’ – Mackenzie Art Auction items can be viewed at the Mackenzie College hall on August 17, from noon to 3pm. The auction will take place the next day from 6pm, starting with a silent auction. The public auction is at 7pm.