Chris Verdin, known as @layingbeads on TikTok and Instagram, is a welder based in Louisiana, USA. A pipe welder, Chris has accumulated over 300,000 TikTok followers and gained millions of views on videos of his impressive welds.
We interviewed Chris to learn more about his work and his experience in the world of welding. Read our discussion below:
Can you tell us about your work as a pipe welder?
Yes. I weld all welding processes, I’m a combo welder.
Is there a welding process that you specialize in, or that you consider your personal favorite?
Yes, TIG welding is my favorite welding process.
Can you tell us about what encouraged you to become a welder, and how you became qualified? Is there a particular professional certification process that you went through?
I was 19. I didn’t go to any welding schools, I got lucky and landed in a fab shop where I was a helper sweeping floors. I'd always see the welders welding and it caught my interest, so I made good friends with a welder at work, and he showed me the ins and outs. I practiced for every break and lunch break until I became a tacker, and I stayed at it with countless hours of practice. Now I’m a combo welder.
Is there an especially memorable job or project that you've worked? (The biggest job you've had, for example.)
Not really -- I take pride in every weld I do. I especially love welding stainless steel.
What would you say has been the toughest part of learning to weld and getting to the point where you are now?
The learning process is the hardest part, but it gets easier. You just have to stay motivated and never give up.
You've referred to your work as a form of art before -- and I can definitely see why! Would you say that thinking of your work as art, and not just a job, is the type of mindset that more people in the trades should have?
Absolutely. If you think of it as art you will love what you do!
It was clearly the right decision to share your work online. Did you expect your welds to go viral, or was that an unexpected benefit of sharing content online?
I didn’t expect to go viral at all but my welds looked too satisfying for me not to share them with the world, so that others can enjoy seeing them as much as I do!
Many high school and college students ask for your advice on becoming a welder. What is your advice for young people interested in welding and the trades?
Stay motivated, make sure that you're comfortable while welding, and never rush welding. Make sure you're not to hot or cold -- find your sweet spot. Every one welds different.