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Welding Students Add Décor to Campus Dining Unit

Sparks of imagination from Pennsylvania College of Technology welding students have produced unique décor for one of the main eateries on campus. A dedicated group of 10 students and one faculty member created original artwork for the college’s Keystone Dining Room.

The students spent approximately 200 hours outside of class over two semesters creating the wall-art project, which consists of brown steel panels depicting cutlery.

“I love that it was made by students,” said Crissy L. McGinness, director of dining services, who arranged for the artwork. “I can’t imagine a more appropriate piece of art for the Keystone Dining Room.”

Student volunteers (from left): Logan K. Garvey, of Williamsport; Gabriel M. Round, of Butler; Bailey K. Austerberry, of Pitman; Michael R. Allen, of Laughlintown; Sawyer G. Macurdy, of Cabot; Jessica L. Szejk, of Clearfield; Kyle X. Beam, of New Freedom; David P. Young, of Spring Mills; Michael K. Patterson, welding lecturer and project leader; Albert M. Gensel, of Canton; and Hunter M. Comeau, of Freeport.
Student volunteers (from left): Logan K. Garvey, of Williamsport; Gabriel M. Round, of Butler; Bailey K. Austerberry, of Pitman; Michael R. Allen, of Laughlintown; Sawyer G. Macurdy, of Cabot; Jessica L. Szejk, of Clearfield; Kyle X. Beam, of New Freedom; David P. Young, of Spring Mills; Michael K. Patterson, welding lecturer and project leader; Albert M. Gensel, of Canton; and Hunter M. Comeau, of Freeport.

Approximately 1,700 students eat daily in the Keystone Dining Room.

The 10 panels range in size from 22 inches to 8 feet in length. Thanks to precise work on the handles of the depicted cutlery, the art reflects the styling of the dining unit’s new chairs.

Patterson and Charles J. Stopper, carpenter/maintenance worker, hold a panel while Dale E. Henne, carpenter/maintenance lead person, marks the wall.
Patterson and Charles J. Stopper, carpenter/maintenance worker, hold a panel while Dale E. Henne, carpenter/maintenance lead person, marks the wall.
Henne (left) and Stopper (right) place a panel with help from Thomas A. Linn, maintenance mechanic/carpenter/locksmith/engraver.
Henne (left) and Stopper (right) place a panel with help from Thomas A. Linn, maintenance mechanic/carpenter/locksmith/engraver.

“It was a very challenging project,” said welding lecturer Michael K. Patterson, who led the initiative. “I’m proud of the students, as they proved up to the task. All of us are excited with the finished product.”

The students followed several steps to develop the artwork. They began by removing mill scale from sheets of mild steel and allowing the sheets to rust in rainwater. By hand, they cut the cutlery shapes and employed freehand texture grinding for added dimension. They stored the metal outside to rust, so the grind marks could be transformed into a golden color.

 

“Rainwater works so well for that because it has so much acid in it,” Patterson said.

The students applied spar urethane, a more durable protective finish than polyurethane, to the panels before members of the college’s General Services staff installed the artwork, dubbed “Cutting Edge.”

Patterson shows off his design.
Patterson shows off his design.

Students contributing to the project were welding and fabrication engineering technology majors Logan K. Garvey, of Williamsport; Gabriel M. Round, of Butler; Bailey K. Austerberry, of Pitman; Jessica L. Szejk, of Clearfield; Kyle X. Beam, of New Freedom; and David P. Young, of Spring Mills.

Welding technology majors Michael R. Allen, of Laughlintown; Sawyer G. Macurdy, of Cabot; Albert M. Gensel, of Canton; and Hunter M. Comeau, of Freeport, also were core members of the group.

“Mike and his students were incredible to work with. We are so happy to have their artwork in our facility,” McGinness said.

For information on welding degrees and other majors offered by the college’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Top and bottom photos by Amy S. Lingg, Dining Services marketing assistant

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