Everybody has a hidden talent of some sort. There are company founders who can kick box, developers who can paint beautiful landscapes, and account managers who can race in a road rally in the forest. We thought it would be fun to delve into our talent pool to discover… which of you has a hidden ability?
First up is Kristie Smith, who has been an Icon Designer with Allovus for many years. Little did we know, Kristie has a secret. Her hidden talent is… wait for it… Welding!
Yes, welding. But not just every day, run-of-the-mill welding. Kristie uses her newly acquired skill to create sculptures.
She first got interested in welding when she saw an open art call through artEast, which is a nonprofit gallery in Issaquah. The show that artEast was promoting, was a collaboration between artEast and the Green River Community College welding program. The college has wonderful facilities for welding and they wanted to showcase what could be done when welding was used for the purpose of creating art.
Allovus: How did you get interested in welding, of all things?
Kristie: Through the years, I’ve made small models to use as a basis for painting. And then I got a chance to participate in this show. They were supposed to provide me with a welder. But then they said, “Hey, you could just learn to weld!” So, I spent the rest of my summer learning to do just.
Allovus: How many people were involved in this show?
Kristie: There were about 20 different artists involved—all with a wide range of styles. It was an extremely collaborative relationship with the college. They were very helpful, and provided materials, training, and assistance at whatever level we needed to help us complete our projects.
Allovus: Tell us about the art you created for the show.
Kristie: The idea for the show was that the sculptures would light up. For the first project, I created a table-top sized whale sculpture. The idea was that this would be like Jonah and the Whale, where the whale had swallowed somebody. This particular whale has a life preserver hanging out of his mouth with an abandoned row boat sitting up by his blow hole. The light comes up through the row boat. I started out wanting to make the whale look fierce—but he ended up looking more friendly than fierce.
The second sculpture of an octopus was also supposed to be fierce, but again, it ended up looking cuter than I’d planned. He looks like a friendly guy you’d want to put on your dining table.
Allovus: Are you going to continue to use your welding skills to create sculptures?
Kristie: I’d love to take full advantage of the welding program at Green River. There’s such a nice group of people there to help. I have big plans and would love to do more! I live in Woodinville and Green River is in Auburn, so it’s a long commute. But they have such an open relationship with artists. I’d love it if they became more involved and collaborated with other colleges closer to where I live.
If you’d like to see more of Kristie’s art, check out her website: Kristie Smith Art