Meet Welding Instructor, Sophie Glenn

Interview with Welding Instructor, Sophie Glenn

By adam chuong

We chatted with Sophie last week to learn about how she came to The Yard, what her practice looks like, and what she’s looking forward to in the coming year.

Photo Credit: Sophie Glenn

The Steel Yard (SY): What are your pronouns and where are you from?

Sophie Glenn (SG): My pronouns are she/her, and I’m originally from New York City, but now I’m living in Reading, PA.

SY: How did you find The Steel Yard? Why did you want to teach here?

SG: I’ve known about the Steel Yard for many years, and I think I probably first heard about it while I was in college as an undergraduate. I have since moved around a lot, and I never had the opportunity to attend a class or teach. Once I moved back to the Northeast, I knew I wanted to reach out. There are few places that teach welding/fabrication outside of trade schools, and fewer that prioritize teaching to underrepresented groups (women, LGBT, non-binary, etc.), so I knew that I wanted to be a part of that community.

SY: Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic practice?

SG: For the past several years, I’ve been working on a body of work called ‘Rust Never Sleeps’, which is a series of classic furniture designs that I recreated completely out of painted and rusted steel.

SY: Who, or what, are your greatest inspirations? What influences your work?

SG: Oddly enough, I am inspired by elements of fine woodworking and metalworking that I don’t like. For example, fine woodworking can often take itself too seriously, so I try to add elements of humor to my work whenever I can.

Photo Credit: Sophie Glenn

SY: What have you been working on?

SG: Lately, my biggest project has been upgrading and outfitting my studio space. I recently received the John D. Mineck Fellowship, a monetary award specifically for furniture makers, and it has allowed me to purchase tools and make some necessary and cosmetic upgrades to my current studio space.

SY: Do you show your work? Where can people see it/ buy it/ experience it?

SG: I show my work in exhibitions periodically, however I also have a website,

SY: When you’re not instructing- what do you do in your free time? Got any hobbies or interests?

SG: I love reading, though sadly I haven’t had much time for that lately. I’m also a huge music fan, so I try to listen to something everyday (lately it’s been goth and punk bands from the 80’s).

SY: What are you most excited for in this upcoming year? What do you think will be your greatest challenge?

SG: I’m excited to return to my body of work once the studio is finished. I plan to explore the intersections between steel and textiles, which is a new territory for me, and I imagine a lot of mistakes will be made during the process.

SY: What area of the studio (outside of your practice) do you want to further explore? I’ve been thinking about quilting and textile/fiber art a lot, but I have zero experience with that kind of work. I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with steel wool and metal meshes, and I’m eager to explore how those can be used in the realm of textile/fiber art.


Photo Credit: Sophie Glenn


SY: What kind of houseplant would you be?

SG: Maybe a succulent or a pothos. Something low-maintenance for sure.

SY: Glass of Water: room temp or chilled?

SG: I’m a room temp fan.

SY: Top three favorite scents?

SG: Fresh laundry, sauteed onions and garlic, and the ‘I’ve been welding all day’ smell (IYKYK)

SY: What belonging have you owned the longest?

SG: I think I have a few things that fit this category, but the first that comes to mind is a small ceramic turtle that I’ve had since I was a child.

SY: Any exciting spring plans keeping you going through the winter?

SG: Teaching at the Steel Yard!

SY: Is there anything else you’d like the Yardie community to know about you?

SG: I tend to breakout into dance while I’m working, so be prepared to laugh. Also, I have pets.


Photo Credit: Sophie Glenn

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