#WhyWeWeld: Aleksandr Valerievich
Aleksandr is a welder-sculptor based in Russia, who became the first welder featured in YesWelder's #WhyWeWeld campaign back on Instagram last year. Alex is known for his metal art creations, including sculptures of animated film characters.
Last year, Alex told YesWelder that he doesn't work as a professional welder, but became interested in welding due to his background as a mechanic. He learned to weld so that he could work on vehicles, and was taught some basic welding by his uncle.
We caught up with Alex again, to ask him more about his work:
You've mentioned that your uncle taught you to weld. Can you tell us more about your experience learning to weld?
Yes, he used to work in a shipyard, so he has a lot of experience to share -- he taught me about MIG and stick welding, and plasma cutting.
You often create welded metal artwork based on different characters, most notably those from the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy. Can you tell us about how you decided to start welding these characters and where else you get ideas from?
The Groot sculpture is made of wires, which I get a lot on my job as a scrap — so I tried to recycle the wires, because I heard that recycling artists do this. And people like it! There are about 40 pieces like it that were made for the customers all over the world.
Welding can be difficult. Can you share your thoughts about the challenges of working as a welder?
Welding is hard work from the beginning to the end. But it makes me think: “You can do things that most people can’t.” Welding is like a small kind of magic, and the welder is like some kind of magician.
You also run an Etsy shop. What advice do you have for welders who would like to share their work and build a business?
Instagram is perfect service for the artists of our time to show their art to the world.
You've accumulated more than 25,000 Instagram followers. Can you tell us about the support you’ve received online, and how that has impacted your work?
There have been many women and men from different countries (such as Canada, USA, Iran, Germany) who text to me with same words: “I’m starting to make welded art because of you!” So how can I stop?
Thanks to Alex for answering our questions. Check out his Instagram here.