The Sullivan side table part II – hand-welding the frame.
Mr Rambaby welds the frames for the Sullivan side tables in a bright area of the metal workshop. Vivid light, pouring in from the big open window behind him, reflects off the white walls, illuminating the space where he does his delicate work.
“I love MIG [Metal Inert Gas] welding,” he says of the technique where wire, fed at an adjustable speed along with gas, is used to fuse a joint. “I want to be an expert”.
Gas shoots out of the gun’s nozzle and, as the heated wire hits the metal, it makes a static zap, zap, zapping sound. A small supernova of sparks then bursts out of the contact point while carbon, phosphor and sulphur acquaint themselves, mixing to form a metallic aroma that rises in the air.
“My older brother is a welder. When I saw him welding I wanted to do it too. I’ve been doing it for fifteen years now.”
Mr Rambaby welds mitre joints for the Sullivan side tables and media units. He uses a gauge to ensure the ultimate precision. His fellow artisans then use hand-held grinders to smooth the edges after he’s done.
“The hardest part,” he explains, “is when the nozzle starts to deteriorate in the middle of a job. It happens on heavy projects and after continuous welding.”
Pausing to talk as the molten metal begins to harden. Who is the funniest person you know? We ask him.
He lets go of the gas trigger, straightens his body and smiles.
“My father.” He says. “He likes to tell stories; Indian stories, from ancient times. That man is always making me laugh.”
Take a closer look at our Sullivan collection.