Welder fuses scrap metal into works of motorcycle art
Words: Bryan Alary
| Images: Bryan Alary
| Videos: Bryan Alary
17 Jun, 2019
Brittany Webb creates artwork during spare time
In what some consider junk parts or scrap metal, Brittany Webb sees possibilities and the spark of inspiration.
The second-year Welder apprentice transforms leftover metal into works of art often resembling dirt bikes and motorcycles.
“I use scrap metal or scrap parts, broken bike parts or whatever I can find, really,” says Webb, 26.
A self-described artsy kid growing up, Webb got into welding “by accident” not long after moving to Alberta from Vancouver Island, where she had trouble breaking into the skilled trades. There was opportunity in Alberta but she wasn’t sure what kind of job she wanted until she landed an interview at an Edmonton welding shop.
“They gave me a chance and it worked out pretty good,” says Webb. She assembles oilfield separators, flare stacks and manifold skids working for GMC Contractors in Edmonton.
After a friend gave her a small MIG welder for home use, it wasn’t long before Webb fused her day job with a weekend hobby. It’s been a perfect melding of a practical career she enjoys and her creative side.
Over the past six years, she’s made about 80 metal sculptures, usually sticking with a motorcycle theme. She’s been riding motorbikes since age five, when she would ride back and forth a nearby hay field.
“You get to go out, relax, see nice places and go fast,” she says.
Those formative years also influenced her love of working with her hands. She and her siblings would create worlds with Lego and Meccano toys, but also take their imaginations to their father’s tool shop.
“We were always into the tools, always in dad’s shop doing something.”
Most of her art pieces are fairly small – usually just a few inches tall and wide – because of the size of her welder and the availability of the small nuts and bolts she scavenges for parts. Her largest work to date is a foot-long, half-foot-tall custom vacuum truck she made for a client.
Her art has been a hit particularly among, not surprisingly, bike enthusiasts and welders.
“They get to see all the things I’ve put into it. Some pieces are even from a welding machine that’s busted or a bicycle. You can see what it’s made from and pick apart how it’s put together.”