To kick this off we are incredibly stoked to introduce you to one of our welders - Ian Rowe. This Gen Y welder knows what he wants and he's making it happen.
So Ian tell us a little about you. What do you do by day?
By day, I am a welder for a custom architectural stainless steel fabricator.
What do you do by night? You know, like Flashdance, welder by day... stripper by night?
Ha. Welding isn't just my day job. When I'm not at work welding, I'm with friends in garages and we're working with metal.
What attracted you to the welding profession?
I always looked up to welders. I had been a sheet metal worker for awhile and I would see the respect that the respect that the welders received when they walked onto site, and I liked that - I wanted that. Being a great welder is an acquired skill, you have to learn and practice to be great. I love working with my hands - I am feeding myself by working with my hands.
Ian, what is your favourite thing about being a welder?
All of it. Everything adds up to a finished product in the end. I take great pride in the details - the weld may take only thirty seconds, but you just spent three hours of prep the material. I love every single part of it. Each step takes time, no rushing. I had worked with a world renowned blacksmith for some time and he taught me about perfection and producing quality work.
I'm motivated by progression and self growth. Developing my skills further, gaining accomplishments. Your skills, your accomplishments are things in your life that nobody can take away from you.
Who or what inspires you in your career?
The world is full of so many talented people and with social media you can see these people and their work so easily. I'm motivated by masters of their trades - I want to be a master of my trade. I want people to see my work and think, "Holy shit!" like I do when I'm looking at the work of the people who inspire me.
What tool could you not live without?
My leatherman, welder, and motorcycle.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
When I was starting out my goal was to make more money per hour than my age. Now my goal is to work on fabrication projects that are exciting for me. Ultimately, I'd love to move into supercar and custom car work.
Do you have any tips or tricks to share with our readers?
If you want to be good at something, practice your heart out. Keep at it. Keep learning, growing, and improving your skills.
What about advice for anyone considering becoming a welder?
Enter the trade with humility and with expectation that you’re not going to start at the top. You're not going to be welding right away - you have to grow up through the trade and you'll get to do more as you move up through. Take the time to perfect each thing that you learn.
Actually my trade has taught me a lot about what is important. I have high standards for the way things have to be. Anything worth doing should be done right. No half assing - no exceptions.
Do you have any favourite places to go or things to do in the city?
Places? Hands down the Bow River, and my dad and I spend a lot of time at KMS Tools.
Things to do? Ride my motorcycle and build vehicles.
Any parting thoughts?
Keep your eyes open... everyone can teach you something.
Ian's favourite Instagram accounts to follow include:
You can find Ian on Instagram as @getoutofthefridge