Rosie the Riveter

It's August, which means that every store is flooded with back to school supplies. Notebooks, pencil boxes, and Solo Cups are on sale everywhere. People are saving their beer money to afford that new "Fundamentals of Business Communication" textbook (which I'm selling, if you do need it), or whatever they need. Even the art student is stocking up, buying gobs of fresh gesso and duck.

But what about us sculptors? And more specifically, what about us lady sculptors?

My back to school shopping list begins somewhat standard: wood glue, dremel bits, various grits of sandpaper, angle grinder disks, nails, screws, and Bondo. Lots and lots of Bondo.

But here’s where it gets tricky: I also need pants. Work pants. And steel toe boots. And leather gloves.

The pants I’ve been using were just standard jeans, which have totally worn through in the knees, are speckled with holes from welding burns, and are crispy in areas from spilled plastic and resin. My studio shoes are gaff-taped together. My leather gloves are clumsily too big for my little lady hands, hindering me more than protecting me. This is a dilemma; the clothes designed for people who work hard are almost exclusively male. We girls are stumbling around in work boots that are too big and hemming pants that are too long.

A few people have noticed (thank god):

Rosie's Workwear is "Designed by women, for women." Finally we can get coveralls that aren't baggy. In hot pink and floral prints!! The boys won't mistake you for a bro with your welding mask on anymore.
Ya Girl! is a line handmade in Vermont by a man who's really feeling for our plight. "I'm not putting on women's pants to do my chores, so why should we expect a woman to wear a man's pant?" They've got heavy duck work pants, work shorts, and even work skirts (with hammer loops!!)
Charm and Hammer is for the rest of the shopping list- safety gear sized smaller for women. There's so much stuff men take for granted, like the width of their safety glasses and the bulk of their respirators. Here are fitted knee pads, gloves, dust masks, and even hot pink tool belts and construction helmets.
AngelFire Welding Gear doesn't have much of a selection so far, but they offer an arc welding jacket and gloves designed specifically for a woman's comfort and safety. Men's welding gear is too big and tends to gap, allowing sparks and splatter to fly down your collar. With a fitted jacket, no more burns!
And a little off topic but worth mentioning,
Carmen Electrode is a blog for ladies who weld and fabricate metals.
And I feel like I should say something about that Satisfaction music video here. I think its constantly playing in our studios. Even though it's exploitive, we've all agreed that you can't just throw any girl on a power breaker and hope for the best, which means that these girls are very likely to be real construction ladies. So, yay!


magnolia said...

i'm a little upset you didn't consult your costumer cousin for a little wardrobe sourcing.

ps. i love your blog!