Alchemy Industrial Arts offers kids a chance to weld on to new skills

Alchemy Industrial Arts offers kids a chance to weld on to new skills

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – Jeremy Loerch gives a push to a Mini Cooper parked in his shop and rolls it backwards to show it off. It’s been the focus of youths working at his industrial arts school, and their work shows. The vehicle has been beaten up, lifted, cut on, added to, poked and prodded.

Loerch describes it this way: “It’s kind of a beautiful abomination of no thinking, just doing, just building.”

His educational nonprofit, Alchemy Industrial Arts, offers a place to learn, fail and grow for youths interested in picking up skills in the trades that they might not otherwise learn. Under Loerch’s supervision, kids, primarily ages 10 to 17, can get a taste of working in areas like welding, blacksmithing, casting, electronics and construction.

Loerch recalls a pair of projects in which one student crafted a full-size English broadsword that he could barely pick up and another in which a student made two katanas and a wooden box to hold them.

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