It was a simple idea, brought to fruition by the people of Forney Industries.
We would design a tree made entirely of steel. In a sense, a metaphor for Forney Industries. A representation of life, constructed of strong material, only as strong as the welds that hold it together.
The design concept itself was developed by a welding technician at Forney Industries, Gabby. She has a gift for not only welding and metalworking, but also art. When these two gifts are combined the result is awe-inspiring, and this tree is proof of that.
Gabby started with Forney Industries mid-September 2016 and has been a valuable asset to our team ever since. She began her metalworking career in the fall of 2014 when she discovered the welding program at Front Range Community College, and from there her love of the trade began to flourish. In fact, Gabby's knowledge about welding is so extensive that she teaches welding and metalworking classes to employees from all departments of Forney Industries.
Her passion for art combined with her welding talent made her an obvious choice as the artist behind the tree sculpture project.
While the sculpture itself represents a multitude of metaphors, the actual construction of the tree encapsulates another beautiful message; one of teamwork and comradery.
If one of Matt Kaufman’s coworkers were to describe him in two words the choice would be easy—wild card.
At home, Matt is an amazing artist who’s capable of creating drawings, paintings and other works of art in a matter of seconds… literally. As one could probably imagine, Matt’s artistic talents didn’t go unnoticed for long around Forney. Once his talent was discovered, he was asked to design Forney shirts, welding helmets, and even sketch logos for various products.
At work, you can find Matt assisting with maintenance projects, helping the warehouse streamline processes, or even building new conference rooms for the corporate office. Although, arguably the greatest thing about Matt is that he hardly ever needs to be asked to lend a hand.
That is precisely why when Matt realized the energy a sculpture of this scale would take, he jumped in without hesitation. Thanks to Gabby and Matt, the tree sculpture is ready for its debut at FABTECH this year.
So together, an artistic handyman and a creative welding technician joined forces to complete a representation of life, constructed of strong material, that is undoubtedly as strong as the people that that welded it together.
This tree will be showcased in Forney’s booth at FABTECH 2019. Attendees will be given the opportunity to cut out a leaf using a Forney plasma cutter, and Gabby will weld them onto the sculpture. For every leaf cut, Forney Industries will donate $1 to Workshops for Warriors.
Workshops for Warriors is a nonprofit school that trains and certifies veterans, wounded warriors and transitioning service members for careers in advanced manufacturing. They believe our veterans deserve renewed purpose and meaningful careers when they transition out of the military.
Their curriculum offers welding, CAD/CAM programming (SolidWorks and Mastercam) and CNC Machining (CNC milling, CNC turning, CNC laser, CNC waterjet). In only 16 weeks, Workshops for Warriors students can pursue their chosen path in one of several high-tech manufacturing fields. Since 2008, this organization has maintained a 94 percent placement rate, with most students having landed a job prior to graduation.
For more information about this organization, click here.