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July 17, 2007

Rosie's Girls [36]

Rosies_girls7 Do you know how to transform a copper pipe into a bracelet?  How to cut shapes out of sheets of metal and attach them to one another in a sculpture? 

How to hammer evenly and keep your hair from catching on fire while welding?  Me neither but some 9-12 yr old girls showed me the basics.

Rosie’s Girls Summer Program is a three-week day camp for girls entering 6th – 8th grade that is organized by Vermont Works for Women.  The camp is named after the WWII fictional feminist icon Rosie the Riveter who commandeered the phrase, "We can do it!"

During the three weeks of intense activities which include carpentry, bike repair and welding, many of the girls discover that they can, indeed, do it.  Whatever "it" may be.

Rosies_girls4For three days, campers attended metal workshops at Kat Clear and Kate Pond's St Griswold studio in Williston.  Kat and her assistants showed the girls how to use the Mig welder (a glorified sewing machine with sparks), the oxyacetylene torch and the plasma cutter.

These are all formidable looking tools that blast impressive sparks and intense heat.  It took some getting used to but after three days, the tools felt familiar to the girls and they were able to make their own abstract sculptures as well as a Rosie the Riveter bracelet (I am wearing mine right now!).

Rosies_girls3 Even if you don't know Kat, you have probably seen her work all over town.  Whether it is the classy sign hanging above the Green Door, the fanciful bike rack outside Radio Bean or the monkeys hanging around outside the Monkey Bar. 

Kat shared her love of welding with the girls and showed them that anything is possible if you work hard enough.

There is an elemental time period in many girl's lives when they cross over from girlhood to adulthood.  It is a time when many women lose their voice and their self-assurance and spend years trying to get back to their confident, carefree, adolescent selves.

It is exciting to imagine these Rosie's Girls going forth into the world, breaking down stereotypes, being comfortable with who they are and braving their own road.   I can't wait to see what comes next. 

"Ground Level Up" by Antara off her album, "All the Strays."   Could any song fit as perfectly?

UPDATE: 8/12/07 - YouTube featured Rosie's Girls on their Howto & DIY homepage which lead to 128,000 hits as well as a spirited debate about VT and the abilities of women.  Additionally, there were these honors:


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Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon representing the women who worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and material during World War II.

NOT THE [email protected]


Excellent point. Thanks Rosie!

Mike Marion

I WANT TO GO TO WELDING CAMP!!! Welding is so cool!!! Maybe next year they can teach them Explosive Welding which is an actual form of welding where two types of metal are fused together via high explosives. One can't get any cooler than that.

Mike M.

Mistress Maeve

These girls ROCK!


I want to take up welding now...what cooler (hotter?) thing to do...entertaining, fun, worthwhile...fix things, make things!! I love it!!


very cool. one of my favorite stuck in vermonts yet! nice message.


My girlfriend is a professional welder, building everything from structural beams for steel buildings, to industrial metal caster machines at Hazelett's in Mallet's Bay. There's nothing hotter than a woman welding ;) She's taught me a lot about welding and metal work too which is always awesome to learn more about.
Kudos to this program and the adventurous young women participating in it.


Thanks for the comments all. i agree about welding, it is addictive! After attending one day of camp, I WANT MORE!

Account Deleted

Welding camp? That’s great! How amazing to see women doing welding because as we all know this work is only common to all men, right? But women also can do that. Anyway it just shows that whatever things are hard and difficult women can also do even if it is for men’s work. More powers and Keep it up girls. Be proud!


I hope the three week summer camp was very helpful to them.. like doing welding & all...


plasma cutter is modern technology of cutting. you can easily cut any metal or steel etc.

Altec Bucket Trucks

This post rocks :)


great article!


My girlfriend is helping me in my workshop and i'm a professional welder, and i still don't get it! How in the world is possible like a women to be attracted to a male work? And i really can't believe that she is working better from day to day.

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