General McLane student combines art with welding, winning national welding award

General McLane School District  |  Posted on

GMHS technology education teacher Timothy Snair works with Isabella Season on the creation of her Octolampus.

When General McLane High School junior Isabella Beason opted to take independent study last spring, she hoped to find a project that would align with her interest in art. Although a technology education focus did not seem like an obvious fit, Beason wanted to create a practical piece of art, so she used her independent study to expand her knowledge of metals. During the six-week program, Beason manufactured a lamp resembling an octopus, made completely of metal and an Edison light bulb.

Her creation, Octolampus, placed third nationally in the James F. Lincoln Foundation (JFLF) Arc Welding Foundation’s 2018 Welding Awards Competition. JFLF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the field of arc welding through education. Each year, the JFLF’s Welding Awards Program rewards excellence and inspires advancement in the field.

Students compete among students in their region. To advance to the national level, Beason first competed regionally with students from 17 different states and territories, including: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Washington D.C.

Beason purchased the light bulb from a flea market and then designed the remainder of the lamp with metals. For the arms, Beason welded different steels together. Three of the eight limbs were created using 3/4″ hot rolled round steel and serve as a tripod to support the lamp. The other five were created using a 16-gauge steel sheet and are used for artistic purposes.