Motorcycle sculpture donated to Darlington school

(Source: Darlington County Schools)
(Source: Darlington County Schools)

Darlington, SC - From Darlington County Schools:

DARLINGTON, SC - A motorcycle sculpture built from scrap metal by four Darlington County Institute of Technology (DCIT) students made its way back to the school Wednesday, thanks to the generosity of Florence Darlington Technical College faculty.

The four students - Matt Blackwelder, Ryan Drew, Brian Nealey, and Cephas Cowick - designed the sculpture, a motorcycle affectionately called "100% Dumpster," for the Florence Darlington Technical College's Welding Rodeo on April 30 and May 1.

The Welding Rodeo combined welding and fabricating skills with artistic aesthetics. The Rodeo, which took place at FDTC's SIMT Campus in Florence, challenged ten teams of professionals and amateurs to create a full-scale sculpture to represent the competition's theme of "Motion" in eight hours.

The DCIT team quickly decided on building a motorcycle and brainstormed their design on the way to the competition. The team only brought a toolbox and welding helmets to the event.

For their material, the team scavenged through a dumpster of scrap metal to find what they needed and chose not to bring in parts of the sculpture already built. Instead, the team built the entire sculpture on site in only eight hours.

Jesse Flowers, a welding instructor at the DCIT and the team's advisor, said the team did an exceptional job, even though they had to sacrifice their Saturday morning to arrive at the competition.

The team's work so impressed two Florence Darlington Technical College employees - Tressa Gardner and Neva Lawson - that they bought the sculpture with the intention of donating it back to the DCIT.

Lawson's son attended the DCIT for four years. She was so impressed with the school and the valuable skills her son had learned from it, she decided to show her appreciation through the donation of the sculpture.

The team also won two plasma cutters, donated by ESAB, which will be used in the welding program for the benefit of all future students. The plasma cutters will be a valuable addition to the DCIT program and facility.