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Nicolet Welding students complete artistic project


Jan. 31, 2013

Students in Nicolet’s Welding program recently completed a rather artistic interpretive fabrication project where they took part of the college’s new oak leaf logo and transferred that onto a large sheet of metal.

Nicolet Leaf“We had a blast making the piece,” said Janelle Farmer, Minocqua, pictured here on the right with classmate Shannon Cline, Sugar Camp. “Everyone wanted to do their best and we’re pretty proud of the way it turned out.”

The project started with a large sheet of metal more than six feet square and weighing upwards of 300 pounds. The students then had to transfer the leaf image onto the metal, cut the square into a circle, and then cut the leaf out of the middle.

“This was the first time many of the students used a plasma torch,” said Chuck Kopp, their instructor. “They were a little nervous at first, having to cut freehand, but they did a great job. It was a real confidence builder.”

When the students were done cutting the piece and smoothing rough edges with a grinder, Kopp flash-rusted the metal with acid to give it added character.

Along with learning new technical skills, the students also learned important soft skills. These included working effectively as a team and also working with a customer, which was the college, Kopp explained.

“They had to take the customer’s vision and turn that vision into an end product that the customer is satisfied with. That’s a very important real-world skill to develop. They did a great job.”

Soon the sculpture will hang over the stone fireplace on the second floor of the University Transfer Center on the Nicolet Campus just south of Rhinelander.