Barbie the Welder
Barbara Parsons, known professionally as Barbie the Welder, is an American metal sculptor. Her work achieved prominence after being publicised on social media. She has produced sculptures for a number of significant clients, and run welding exhibitions at trade fairs.
Life and career
From Elmira, New York, Barbie was influenced by her father, a self-described jack of all trades from whom she learned about drywall fitting, roofing, and electrical installations. She was inspired to take up welding after seeing a character in the film Cast Away weld wings onto an angel sculpture.
She started her career in 2007, saving $1,200 to attend a local BOCES welding program. She was subsequently hired at Cameron Manufacturing and Design, where she worked as a sheet metal fabricator. After working for five years to learn the art of welding and fabrication and earning her Journeyman in sheet metal and iron plate, she quit in September 2014 to work as an independent artist.
After nine months of no sales, she took up demonstrations and exhibitions as a way to provide income. Although reluctant to do this, she realized it raised interest in her work and had similar attention to people working with chainsaw sculpture. Her work became popular when she published it on Instagram. She has since created sculptures for a number of clients, and has a YouTube channel explaining welding art. In 2017, she signed a deal with Skyhorse Publishing, who asked her to write a book on 30 different welding projects.
Barbie has created sculptures for various corporations such as Harley-Davidson. She has given live exhibitions of welding at events including the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Americade, and SEMA, including demonstrations of new welding equipment and technology.
- (2017) Horseshoe Crafts; More Than 30 Easy Projects You Can Weld At Home, ISBN 9781631581465
- (2018) The Inspiration Blueprint; How To Design And Create Your Inspired Life
- Emell Derra Adolphus (February 13, 2019). "Women who Rock: This Barbie is a master welder". Snips Magazine.
- "Welding Tips and Tricks Podcast Episode 43 Barbie The Welder from Welding Tips and Tricks Podcast". www.stitcher.com. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- "Midday Makeover: Barbie the Welder" (video, 5 mins, 28 secs). WENY. July 2, 2018 [March 27, 2018]. Retrieved May 18, 2019. Interview transcript: "Barbie the Welder on WENY TV". Wellness Arts Network. April 11, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
- "This Barbie is living in a welding world". My Twin Tiers.com (with video, 3 mins, 28 secs). WETM. March 20, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
- "Welding Giant Angel Wings – Carmen Electrode Blog". www.arc-zone.com. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- "Barbie the Welder: The Journey". WeldingSource.org (video, 3 mins, 27 secs). September 21, 2017. Also at: "Barbie the Welder: The Journey". YouTube. American Welding Society. October 17, 2017.
- "About the Artist". Barbie the Welder. Archived from the original on June 10, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- "Barbie the Welder has built her own dream garage". Carmen Electrode. August 22, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
- "Studio". BarbieTheWelder. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- "This Barbie has Built Her Own Dream Garage". Carmen Electrode. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
- "Barbie The Welder creates metal sculpture art with Miller Welders". Miller Welders. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
- "Miller to Unveil AC TIG-Capable Multiprocess Solution and Offer Live Welding Demos at SEMA". Body Shop Business. October 19, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
- "Barbie The Welder". Simon and Schuster. Retrieved May 24, 2019.