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MATC Welding Students Transform Vision into Reality with Christmas Ornaments

Posted Date: 01/12/2024

MATC Welding Students Transform Vision into Reality with Christmas Ornaments

In the heart of Pauls Valley, the city's festive spirit received a remarkable boost as Larry Tuck, a dedicated welding teacher at Mid-America Tech Center, and his talented students undertook the challenge of fabricating two grand 9'x9' Christmas ornaments. Armed with nothing but a picture as their guide, Mr. Tuck and his students embarked on a welding journey that resulted in a spectacular contribution to the city's holiday decorations.

When approached to fabricate a significant ornament for Pauls Valley, Mr. Larry Tuck eagerly accepted the challenge. The initial reaction from the students was, There is no way—it's too big! But, with Mr. Tuck’s words of encouragement, “Nothing is too big for this class. You are good, hardworking students; let’s challenge ourselves and do this!"

With only a picture to guide them, the welding students at Mid-America Tech Center set out to transform the two-dimensional vision into a three-dimensional reality. This project not only showcased their welding skills but also highlighted their ability to translate artistic concepts into tangible structures.

To bring the 9'x9' ornament to life, the welding students utilized almost 300 feet of 1/2" round rod, with each rod standing tall at 10 feet for each ornament. The selection of robust materials ensured the durability of the ornament, making it suitable for outdoor display and able to withstand the elements. The construction involved the strategic placement of 28 vertical stays, complemented by a sturdy middle support section. A base plate and a top plate, crafted to resemble a Christmas ornament's top, added the finishing touches to these impressive structures.

The welding students demonstrated precision in every aspect of the fabrication process. Each 10-foot rod was carefully cut, shaped, and expertly welded to create the intricate framework of the ornament. The students paid meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that the final product not only matched the envisioned design but also met the high standards set by Mr. Tuck.

The collaboration between Mid-America Tech Center and the city of Pauls Valley exemplifies the power of community engagement. The ornaments, once completed, were transported to Pauls Valley, where they were painted and strewn with lights to become a symbol of shared effort and holiday spirit. They are installed at the Pauls Valley City Hall and the Santa Fe Depot as a testament to the welding program's commitment to enriching the local community through artistry and craftsmanship.

Larry Tuck's leadership and the welding students' dedication at Mid-America Tech Center have resulted in the creation of truly magnificent holiday ornaments for Pauls Valley. This collaborative effort not only showcases the technical skills of the welding team but also reinforces the importance of community involvement in celebrating the festive season. The 9'x9' Christmas ornaments stand as a proud testament to the fusion of art, craftsmanship, and community spirit in the heart of Pauls Valley.


The Christmas ornaments from start to finish … fabrication and welding by MATC students … painted and decked out with lights at Pauls Valley City Hall … all lit up and read for photo ops! Taking full advantage of its lighted glory are MATC Auto Collision Repair instructor, D.J. Patton’s children, Kaia and Mary.