A Welding Diamond in the Rough

Brandy Atchley and her son

After being introduced to welding in junior high, Brandy went on to take welding classes at her local community college and has “been hooked ever since”. One year later in 2006, she was hired to replace a TIG welder at a fabrication company.

“I have fabricated many things from custom truck bumpers, classic log show truck steps, boat float straps, stainless steel counter tops, you name it. I run a break, sheer, rollers and all the typical fab-ing machines. The only thing I’m not familiar with at our shop is the CNC router and the lathe but I do plan on learning those as well.”

Brandy took some time out of her busy schedule (she also has an adorable son) to let us get to know her a little bit better. Read on for the full interview…

a7What’s your favorite type of welding?

My fav would have to be TIG welding aluminum!

What inspires your work?
I am really inspired by people who can lay those amazing beads like Chris Davenport. Ever since I opened an Instagram account (this might sound cheesy) but looking at other people’s work on there and trying to learn how they do things over the ‘internet’ is actually really fun. I want to be the best. I am very determined and I can at times be very competitive about my work but it’s because I would do anything to make myself become the best welder out there. It’s something I really enjoy doing. It’s not just my job, its art and it’s my life! I absolutely love welding!

a9Do you have a favorite piece that you made?
I don’t have just one favorite. I think my favorite pieces are the ones that are hard. Those are the ones that I am most proud of. Knowing that at one point I didn’t think I could make or weld something so challenging but then at the end of the day actually doing it. That’s what it’s all about!

Is it difficult to be a woman in this field? What advice would you give to women who want to pursuit a career in welding?
I have not had any problems, yet! I think if you are good then you can go anywhere! People do judge me and say “No way! You’re a barista” but then I show them my work and earn a whole new level of respect from them. If someone is going to hire you or not hire you just because you are a girl then I would never work there! I want to be known for my work because of my work not because of my sex. If you’re a girl welder go out there and kick ass show all those guys what’s up!

Where do you see the welding industry as well as yourself in 10 years?
I hope the welding industry stays the way it is. I am kind of scared just because there are a lot of new computer things coming out! Either way I am sure I will still be welding! It’s who I am. I love doing it. I would not choose any other occupation out there! Welding is stuck with me for life 🙂

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Brandy is a great role model not only for women welders but all women in general. She exudes amazing self confidence and won’t let stereotypes determine her career choice. We hope that she has a fulfilling career and great success. We also hope that Brandy inspires more women to go out and “show all those guys what’s up!”


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