Firefighter and Dispatcher, Dallas Fire-Rescue
“I don’t honestly remember how I came to the Welding program, but I think it was because I wanted to build a fence. But then I found out that metal is so much more fun than you could ever guess. I’ve made metal furniture, shelving, a towel rack and shelf custom-made for my bathroom, light fixtures — and what people seem to appreciate most, yard art.
“I’ve always been interested in making things, in all kinds of crafts like tilework and stained glass. Metalwork is fun because you get your work out there — people call me about my yard art more than I could ever have imagined.
“Being able to make things out of found pieces, reusing them to make something beautiful and useful is really fun. Sometimes I make things out of silverware I buy at the thrift store; they’re unique pieces to give as gifts and nothing you could find in any store. You take ugly old castoff metal and make something interesting and useful, which is just awesome.
A Dallas firefighter for more than 20 years, Helen Watts is a welding hobbyist who takes individual Welding courses for personal interest at Dallas College around her work schedule.