A blazing heart, a smiling Buddha, and a threatening cobra: welding artist Dabs Wellington has always been attracted to intense and powerful designs. Their visual appearance is just as impressive: the images made out of stainless steel shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow, from a soft gold to a deep blue. And all the American needs to create these masterpieces is a welding system – along with years of experience.
It all started when a young Sean Flottmann took on a part-time job in a workshop whilst still at college. This company, who specialized in TIG welding of stainless steel parts, was where Flottmann first became interested in the material and the process. After countless hours of practice repairing components, working hard, and learning expert skills from his experienced colleagues, Sean soon became a pro.
But that was 20 years ago; now the successful welding specialist is passing on his knowledge and giving tips and tricks to younger colleagues. His current job requires absolute reliability and quality as he welds constructions for materials handling equipment and other assemblies. Welding also plays an important role in his free time, when he produces works of art out of stainless steel and aluminum. He then shares his work on social media to his constantly growing number of fans, under the pseudonym Dabs Wellington. His Instagram account has roughly 100,000 followers – a figure that increases daily.
Most of his work consists of a square frame, in which the central image is “drawn” in the form of TIG weld seams.
The striking color progressions in the weld seams have become his signature specialty. They develop when the metal oxidizes at the respective position, whereby setting and observing the precise gas post-flow time is crucial: “Not only do you need a lot of practice to be able to create the exact colors you want, but you must also be as precise as possible when controlling the welding process,” explains Flottmann. “Different welding parameters such as heat and speed directly affect the result.”
» Not only do you need a lot of practice to be able to create the exact colors you want, but you must also be as precise as possible when controlling the welding process. When I use the MagicWave, I am generally able to adjust parameters very precisely. «Sean Flottmann, Welding professional