Twenty-nine year old Crystal Lynn Galizia loves to weld. The Thief River Falls, Minnesota resident recently followed her mother into the trade and looks forward to a prosperous career in what many regard as a man’s job. In the following interview Crystal tells American Welding Online about the job she was born to do.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself ?
My name is Crystal Lynn Galizia. I am a 29 year old single mom of 4 beautiful children: a 12 yr old daughter a set of 2 yr old twin boys and an 8 month old boy. I currently live in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. I was born in Smith Town, New York, and my family moved to TRF in 1997. I am currently a MIG welder at Custom Products. We build overseas shipping crates for Arctic Cat and Polaris.
How did you get into welding?
I got into welding in July of 2013. My mother is a welder and she always talked about how amazing it is. However, I was skeptical. I had a lot of silly concerns like burning and scarring my arms and burning up my hair that I’ve been growing for years. My arms are tattooed so I was concerned about ruining them. Petty I know, but at the time I didn’t realize how much those things wouldn’t matter once I felt the liquid hot power of welding!
So I started out in quality control with the mindset that I didn’t want to weld. However, in Quality Control I quickly learned how to fix weld and how to pick out bad welds, unfinished welds, cold welds, porosity welds…. so on and so forth! And in doing so I learned—with the help of many mentors and experienced welders—how to lay a beautiful bead with amazing speed and accuracy!
I’ve been welding for exactly 6 months tomorrow and I am already considered one of our shop’s top welders by supervisors and other highly experienced welders. I personally think I could do even better, and every day I strive for perfection!!!
What do you like most about welding?
I love the feeling of power and the utter beauty of it! I am in awe of that blue light! And I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel like a total bad ass (pardon my language) when I’m welding a table together!!!
Where do/did you receive welding instruction?
I have not done any schooling as of yet but I have a few really good talented welders in my shop that give me all the tips and tricks I need to be the best! Hopefully this year I’ll make the cut to get sent to college to get certified. Fingers crossed!
Did you design your helmet and does it have a special meaning?
Well it was given to me by my shop supervisor. I plan on purchasing my very own here in a few weeks. But it will probably be pretty similar. I’m kind of a rocker chick and have a lot of tattoos so stuff with skulls and hearts with thorns and barbed wire are totally my style!
Is there anything in particular about your welding classes or welding workshop that stand out in a positive or negative way?
Well, honestly l raise the moral in that shop! Actually there are a few of us that do. We are a big cozy family and love each other very much. Most days, my mother and I are welding partners and we bring in coffee and candy and donuts and hand them out to our coworkers! She and I are probably the most likable because of our upbeat positive attitudes! We are the only mother and daughter welding team I’ve heard of and we work amazing together!
As far as teaching methods go, we all work as a team to teach each other the tricks we’ve learned and help anyone who is having a hard time getting into it!
Have you received any positive or negative feedback because of your gender?
I get a lot of positive feedback! In a shop with about 15 to 20 people, there are only 5 female welders and we are looked up to because we are women doing a job that most would think a woman couldn’t do… It takes a special kind of woman to do what we do and I truly believe that!
Do you plan to take up welding as a career?
Absolutely! When I started to get really good I asked myself, “Why haven’t I been doing this my whole life?” I have never enjoyed a job as much as this!
If so, do you know what type of welding or which industry you would like to work with?
I would really like to stick to MIG welding but wouldn’t be scared to explore the wonderful world of TIG and other forms of arc welding! I’ve even tried my hand at plasma cutting! Coolest thing I think I’d seen in a while!
Is there anything else about your experience as a new welder that you would like to tells us about?
Just that you should never underestimate something you’ve never tried before because it could be something that you end up loving more than any other occupation you’ve ever had!