The class is divided between what I'd call representative artists and modernists, and then again by those who prefer delicate work and contact those who make use of the big shop machines: the benders, cutters, grinders and band saws. For others it's the chance to transfer designs and skills from another medium: the architect from Iran, the woodmaker from Gabriola Island, the commercial designer escaping his laptop. For some contact it's an escape. People have lived lives; have years of work experience; traveled and formed opinions on art, philosophy and they come at things with a sense of purpose.
There is none of the self-concsious intimidations of youth. Like any art class I've ever taken, it never ceases to amaze me the diversity of backgrounds and creative thought people contact bring as adult learners. Once you get over the drama of the potential for harm, you can then begin to feel familiar, and for some, reasonably facile at welding with acetylene torches, plasma cutters and MIG (metal inert gas) machines. At this point we've become familiar with several ways to: blow yourself up, contact set yourself on fire and and get a serious sunburn.