Archive for Industry

Underground shifting

Posted in 21st century, Art, Artists, Industry, Steveston, Story, The Path, Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2010 by Erikakw

At a cafe today in our Village, I was catching up with online digital tasks since the last two weeks I have been driving off Lulu Island to Annacis Island to attend piabschool.

POW is a program for women who are interested in the trades. PIAB, UA 170‘s private school provides an opportunity for women to succeed in a career of their choice within the piping industry by offering excellent training in a supportive working environment where only 4% are women.

From the get go I knew I wanted to weld. I still have 4 weeks to go and everyday I ask myself: is this what I want to study and work at in the years to come?

At Bean and Beyond in Steveston, in between checking websites and waiting for data transfer I read ART revolution by Lisa L. Cyr where she writes about transcending boundaries:

“From 1908-1914 two pioneers; Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked collaboratively in search of an alternative form of expression, a different approach to seeing and interpreting the world. With their efforts, Cubism, an artistic vision that allows for multiple  viewpoints to be shown simultaneously, was born…..In addition the Cubist movement gave birth to a more tactile approach to picture-making….under Cubist theory, pictorial reality became multidimensional expressed in multimedia format.”

I used to chide myself severely for not ever settling on a particular medium. It seemed I could not quell the desire to join together numerous elements to make a picture. I understood Marcel Duchamp‘s, Nude Descending Staircase since I had experienced fragmentation, culminating in 10 moves by the time I was 13. So Duchamp’s depiction captured well-known feelings that I had contained for most of my childhood. That life was dubious and unstable accompanied by a haunting notion of unpredictability.  Searching for meaning in a world of chance occupied me which later helped develop full-blown existentialism that I chose as my world view for a period of time.

Underground shifting is about perceptions in motion where things are placed in a random order to create something new or unknown. It is subjective to the last degree which is largely what gives it appeal. I end up feeling that when change occurs in life it might look somewhat like this. Non-sensical and heavy laden with meaning with an inkling of nothing in particular at the same time, it is somewhat unsettling as change takes place and often mentally painful.

With 13 other women I sit in the shape of a circle to redefine or refine a path, a way that I have been going. There are individuals I have met at the school that have given me a strong sense of wanting justice in the labour movement for men and women and have acted according to their convictions to achieve lasting change. I am challenged and inspired to look further than my immediate path by listening to a person’s story.

At the end of the day it may not all make sense like Underground shifting yet what is important is to stay on the path even if you are on the loose shoulder slipping a little. Eventually you will notice an order occurring and you will hit a point when you see clearly an isometric design in the midst of frayed disorder.


Deconstructed boat

Posted in 21st century, Alberto Replanski, Art, Artists, Industry, Sculpture, Steveston, Story, The Fraser River, Trade with tags , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2009 by Erikakw

‘Olas de vienta’

Posted in 21st century, Fisher folk, Japanese, Sculpture, Steveston, The Fraser River, The Wind, Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2009 by Erikakw

Domenge’s carbon steel sphere is as unique as its negative spaces, which create dramatic view corridors to where the Fraser River meets the ocean.

“The place itself, it had to be something that reminds you of the waves of the sea, the waves of the wind and the waves of the intensity of life,” she says in an telephone interview from a Vancouver hotel.

—Matthew Hoekstra, Richmond Review, sculpture at Garry Point

CSL Files 217, [1.02] To Cabo San Lucas or ‘Catch of the Ghost Marlin’

Posted in Fisher folk, Steveston, Story, The Sea with tags , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by Erikakw

This time I was determined, it had taken me way to long to find it in the first place.  No more half-assed efforts of fooling around with tourists in El Squidroe and Cabo Wabo while exchanging travel stories and fateful nights at local pubs. I was done with that. I needed that bloody compass!

I gazed through the glass bottom boat that still afternoon, feeling a slight exhilaration. 2322786819I looked closer than I had ever before, there, on the ocean floor, was my compass.

I was relieved the water was still today and with the quiet, I was lulled deep into my soul and brought down to a dream state or was it just the effect of looking through the glass that magnified everything below? Toward the water I peered and I found myself pressing my nose up against the glass wanting to feel the fish—wanting to feel myself within again. All that mattered were those silky bodies that eluded me just like my compass. They passed by silently in continuous motion while my compass shone with a brilliance I had not seen before. As if I was discovering it for the first time I felt a ripple of delight return. With the glimmering instrument came a small hope. It had only been seven days since I had descended into my own private hell.

Fish my favorite; the best sign—aka the ‘dooms day sign’, I call it….

If you are a Pisces you are doomed to a life of emotions and feelings that are so intense they want to burst out of you. Melancholy is often the close cousin to the intensity so you travel between the two poles drifting and riding currents and waves of e-motion. As in Physics where “a periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance that may be propagated without net movement of the particles, such as in the passage of undulating motion, heat, or sound”. Even standing waves are a “vibration of a whole system where some points remain fixed, while others between them vibrate with maximum amplitude”. Thanks, I could always rely on physics definitions to help me explain what it is like to be me.

I looked back to the man guiding the boat,

“You like those fish, don’t you” he said. “Yes”, I replied

I studied his face intently he seemed kind. Though I noticed that sometimes he went all quiet and would close his eyes as if he was going to a far away place, he must have done this many times before because it came so naturally to him. He sailed the boat with his eyes closed, he felt the wind on his face and slowly his lips curled into a relaxed smile.

The Cactus Club said that he was experienced at boating and fishing. He had come down to study the native animals and marine life of the region because he was a wildlife biologist but he ended up staying longer than the contract he signed. His quietness I didn’t mind because in between he would make me laugh with his wit, knowledge and humour and that afternoon it became like a balm for my soul. It seemed all was right with the world now. I was laughing in the Cabo sun, soaking in the paradise around me. Finding my compass returned me to my former tranquility which I had lost with the compass.

“Marlins….”, he trailed off. “I beg your pardon”, I retorted.

“I have known one”, he said seriously.

“What do you mean?”, I replied.

“Well there was a story in 2007 that said, marine biologists discovered a kind of living ghost — a giant predatory fish with a sword-like bill and a tail so blue it seemed to glow. The round scale Spearfish was documented just twice in the last century. Experts blame the case of mistaken identity, at least in part, on the Spearfish’s resemblance to the white marlin. It was in the news and everything on NPR as a matter of fact….” again he trailed off and looked towards Los Arcos, he was lost in thought.

“So what are you saying? Do you mean that you have seen one of those ‘living ghost’ fish?” I asked him.

“Ok, can you keep a secret? Not just a small one but probably the biggest secret you have ever kept.” he said.

“Um, well—I’m not sure. I guess so. Your secret would be safe with me since I will be leaving Cabo and returning north shortly.” I quipped.

“I caught one and…. I’ve seen the ghost marlin now—I have the gift”, his face was beaming with accomplishment.

“The gift…?” I said in disbelief.

Original Art by Don Ray

“Yeah, I’ll give you a clue. We’ve been doing it all afternoon in between the quiet moments!” he spoke quickly now yet his voice was hushed.

“Huh?”, I was dumbstruck to what was he referring to.

I started to feel claustrophobic, I wanted off the boat now, was this going to get all strange and go sideways on me like that time I went to that wooden boat show and was forever trying to get away from the conversation that would never end with Billie Gibson?

“Laughing, you know giggling!” he said deadpan.

“I’m sorry I still don’t follow you” I said confused.

“This is the secret part now, are you ready?” he asked with raised eyebrows.

“Ok, ready” I said hesitantly.

“The legend is that when you have caught a marlin and seen a sighting of the ghost marlin you are given the gift of humour then, you are able to make people laugh and giggle in a kind of supernatural way, anytime—day or night!” he said.

“Is that why that nightclub is called the Giggling Marlin?” I asked.

“Well, that story has circulated for a long time and I would say that establishment adopted the name after the legend. I mean who wouldn’t want to name their nightclub the Giggling Marlin!” he said smiling.

“So do many people know about this ‘famous’ catch of yours?” I wondered aloud.

“I only tell special people because most people cannot handle that kind of knowledge, you know the supernatural stuff and all. Of course whenever I start talking about it people think I’m a lunatic—you know crazy, nuts…. like as if all I think about are marlins…white ones, blues ones, even ghost ones…” he was a little quieter again and I noticed that we were almost back to town without even knowing that we had turned around.

We got back to port and started to unload. I asked him if he would be around since I needed a diver to retrieve my compass. He said he would be happy to help me since he knew the waters well and could tell that it was important to me.

“How can I pay you?” I asked.

“Would you go to the Giggling Marlin this evening with me? They have a great view of Place del’amour and they have this giant mural on the wall inside with the history of marlins and there is blue ones and white ones, black marlins and striped ones, ghost….” he noticed my face and trailed off.

I was feeling awkward now, I didn’t want to make this into a big deal. I took a deep breath. It had been a while since the last time I had gone in there. I wasn’t interested in meeting any local fisher folk. The Giggling Marlin was the place to party, every boat that came into port emptied regularly into the nightclub, somewhat like the Buck and Ear in Steveston.

I hesitated, he was looking off in the distance in that same way, somewhat contented with his thoughts yet patiently waiting for my response.

“All right, but only one drink, okay”? I said shakily.

“You do me honour, dear Lady” he replied respectfully.

So we met at the Giggling Marlin that evening. We put a timer on that he had brought, we timed how long it took him to tell me the entire story from beginning to end of the ‘Catch of the Ghost Marlin’! I remember giggling when he brought out the timer, since I was well familiar with them!

That evening I felt I had a permanent smile pasted on my face. My cheeks ached from laughing so much and from one glass of white wine I was flushed. He drank a beer from a local micro brewery called, Cabo Cabo.

“I want you to know it’s true, every last word of it!” he exclaimed.

I left the Giggling Marlin not long after, it had been a long giggling day and I was tired but refreshed from laughing so much. We agreed to meet at the Cactus Club in the morning about 10:30 am to set sail to find my compass but only after he had had his breakfast and Gazebo time, which until Cabo San Lucas he had never experienced. Now he made it a regular part of his day since in that place he always seemed to come out changed.

The man who was the wildlife biologist who was also into marine biology, walked down the pier into the night and I turned resolutely with broad strides back to my room.

Upon entry I struggled to find the light and hit my hip on the edge of the counter because I was moving so fast. Switching the light on an unusual reflection caught my eye.

There on my night side table was my compass, polished and shining and set carefully beside it was his marlinspike.


A Liger’s Tale, XVIII. The Timeline

Posted in Alchemy, Apprentice, Artists, Chronos, Industry, Kairos, Metallurgy, Story, The Path, Trade with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by Erikakw

It was not until much later that Kiera began her journey to seek out the one who would begin to teach her. She knew there had to be a place where she could learn so she left home. Her will drove her out onto the streets of Livan-drea, led by its current which was like a live wire under her skin. She could no longer stop the force of it or hold it back. Many have said over time that,

‘when the student is ready the master will appear’.

In and out of small grottos, up and down stairs, through entry ways and exits where long corridors were lit with dim light and filled with fumes, Kiera walked. Today the foundry was quiet yet it’s drone echoed deep within her. Before she stepped inside she stood on the banks of Livan-drea’s central mount and looked down the River south to see the outline of the foundry. It’s smoke stacks clear, the sleeping giant loomed large and did not recede into the background. It came ever forward while Mt Kab-ir formed a stunning backdrop of layers of frozen snow and ice with its pinnacle reaching just 1000 lengths above the foundry’s peak. Kiera’s insides warmed as she took in the black-gray patina of the foundry, even from this distance she could see the glints of copper and today the sun caught the jeweled windows framed by the impossibly intricate wrought iron work. The rust had formed so beautifully over the years on the those frames, she thought.

Turning North she walked not far to find a undistinguished building, surrounded by the trappings of the trade of the metal workers she climbed the steep stairs to the third floor where a door was propped half open. Patiently looking, she came across a character that welcomed her warmly.Was it that she knew him already, she thought?

“I know the purpose of his stride, I could have sworn that I saw him in the alley the other day. With the coming and going of many vehicles I remember a settling occurring. That is the moment when he morphed from animal to man. The settling must have happened in between the impossibly small walkway of the north path between structures. No, that cannot be right….why would he take such as risk….?” Kiera mused.

Gathering her confidence and putting timidity aside in the moment she extended herself to him. Hmv, the man had long since left the quarry and turned to designing monuments and entry ways executing each project with mathematical precision—his work set apart a building or a street corner. All day he was happy to assemble and deconstruct and then re-construct models and maquettes, his accent and countenance intrigued her and while listening she saw in him an earnestness that she had not encountered in Livan-drea for some time. Integrity was about him and determination to pass on his knowledge to anyone who would agree to be his apprentice. His kindness and bright humour caught Kiera and it was from this moment she recollected in hindsight that the relentless passage of listening to the River beneath the River welled up within her.

Within a succinct period of time there was a transaction that easily occurred. The formalization of an agreement between them that would be mutually beneficial for both. She was enthralled and he delighted. She began her apprentice listening to him for 39 days. Sitting by his side she watched the gestures of his hands as his eyes welled up with passion the lines in his face deepened, he spoke in two languages and revealed his Timeline.

Kiera wanted nothing else than to listen and watch endlessly day in and out. She often hurried through her morning disciplines in order to arrive earlier each day at his side. Compelling stories of events that dated backwards and forwards of time travel infused with rejection, loss, greed, indifference and betrayal. Kiera noted beginning and ending successes that stood as bookends holding the Timeline in its precarious place.

“I will act now and not remain silent any longer I will tell a story, a Timeline….I will whisper, and inscribe your words to me for myself first and then for any one else who is fit to hear them….”Kiera decided.

A Liger’s Tale by Erika Koenig is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.
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Posted in 21st century, Alchemy, Apprentice, Art, Artists, Industry, La amistad, Metallurgy, Steveston, Story, Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Erikakw

Out into the light the spots were black popping here and there.

I lifted my mask and got that ring around the head feeling. My hair pulled from the strap and I kept adjusting it while scratching my scalp. I felt fun, dirty, dangerous and neato.

Sparks ordinarily flew to the floor where the oil puddles had congealed long ago and were next to impossible to suck up. Sawdust or cat litter maybe would do the trick, and then I could figure out the way to lift up that poison. Solvent would evaporate in the saw chips so I would throw it in there any chance I had. Into a large metal trash container that in the middle of winter doubled as a fire pit.

As I practiced the lines I took extra care to slow down which is hard for me ‘cuz I seem to like to go quickly especially when I am excited. You see, I have a lot of energy and it needs to be channeled into lines or fillets, not the fish but the shape. Like I was taught, I went back 5 times over it. I mean I kept checking my work and even though it was tedium all I could think of was titanium.

Watching Tom pick up and weld without effort was like magic for me. I marveled at how all the guys were so comfortable with their tools. I had a slim hope that one day I would be too, not afraid of the arc or the spark and no longer silly about the heat. Gone were the days of being afraid to light the barbecue. Now I was lighting bigger and better things and it was a groovy feeling.

Once I knew a man who had the strength of patience like the steel he welded. He was a kind of master at slowing down. He worked with razors to perfect a surface he was capable of creating a flawless sheen. He worked alone and he liked it that way. He was able to sand like no one else and clear coat a finish to its end. He was very good at his trade, I told him so and then he felt happy and went home.

It’s been a little while now and I’m happy wondering if this is going to take me to fantastic places like public art or building scaffolding as high as the CN Tower! Imagination is good for soaring and at the arc of my inspiration the sound of the fire and heat met my desire and I danced, it was sweet.

On the flip side of it I figure I am a fool for such things. I will have to take every precaution to be safe and the only way I want to learn this trade is school. The shop guys will give me tips I wouldn’t learn in school but all the other stuff will have to be learned there. I beg myself to ask the question: why would you want to risk so much?

As I pondered my fate in this environ I took stock of the needed considerations, and let me tell you there are many. Upside and down the other side, I guess I was doomed to writing all the pros and cons +’s and -‘s on a long sheet of paper.

So I began. Wishing I had the patience of the man I once knew I took off my mask and walked out into the light and it was there that I decided who and what I would become.

Thanks to Hawksley Workman for ‘arc of my inspiration’

Women Welders

Posted in 21st century, Apprentice, Art, Artists, Industry, Lara Croft, Living, Metallurgy, Steveston, Trade with tags , , , , , on September 16, 2009 by Erikakw

Women Welders 1943Line Up of Some of Women Welders Including The Women’s Welding Champion of Ingalls [Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Ms]., 1943

Photographer: Beebe, Spencer

World War, 1939-1945

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