Franklin Countys First News

Marvelous Metal Work: Mt. Blue student creates gift of decorative sign hangers

Ben Emery of Vienna, a student in the Metal Fabrication class at Foster Tech Center holds up his work. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Mochamer)

Ben Emery of Vienna, a senior in the Metal Fabrication class at Foster Career and Technical Education Center holds up a sample of his work. (Photos courtesy of Bruce Mochamer)

Ben Emery's decorative sign work hangs along to entrance driveway to the Mt. Blue Campus.

Ben Emery's decorative sign work hangs along to entrance driveway to the Mt. Blue Campus.

FARMINGTON - While the new Mt. Blue Campus now gleams with the latest in building construction and technology, a recent upgrade has the unique distinction of being entirely designed and handcrafted by a current student.

Ben Emery of Vienna, a metal fabrication senior at Foster Career and Technical Education Center, took on the project of designing and making specialized metal brackets for street signs that announce the campus code.

On light poles along the entrance driveway to campus four signs each carry the two-word message: "Be here, be safe, be responsible, be respectful." Graceful metal scroll work above and below each sign was handmade by Emery, along with the brackets. Since the street signs arrived with its message on only one side, he decided to add his own "Home of the Cougars" on the other side.

The campus code signs had been ordered and came with "cheap brackets," Principal Bruce Mochamer said. Emery's metal fabrication instructor, Rob Olsen, mentioned the poorly-made brackets.

But, it was Emery, Mochamer said, who decided on his own to take on the project and create something better for the signs.

Over the next weeks, a lot of design work then cutting, welding, bending, testing, recalibrating, bending, testing, and polishing went into each sign hanger. A coat of paint was followed by a rubberized coating "to give it that old iron texture look," Emery explained.

Although his experience thus far in metal fabrication class included making a sap boiler last spring and helping with welding repairs on a tractor this fall, the sign hanger project was an all-encompassing, hands-on project he worked on alone.

"It (the project) was all Ben," Olsen said. "He designed it, forged it, built it and installed it."

The project took him about 30 hours of work over four weeks to complete.

"It's outstanding," Mochamer said of Emery's work. "I love it. Having a student take ownership, create the whole design and make it. It was student-created, student-generated and it just shows you what our students can do."

It comes as no surprise that the metal fabrication class is Emery's favorite.

"It's really fun and I like it because there is always more than one way to do it," he said.

Mt. Blue High School senior Ben Emery  shows the other side of the sign which read Be Here, part of the Campus Code.

Mt. Blue High School senior Ben Emery shows the other side of the sign which reads Be Here, the first line of the Campus Code: Be Here, Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful.

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20 Responses »

  1. Way to go Ben! Keep up the good work.

  2. Great Job Ben! I'm so proud of you.

  3. GREAT JOB!!!! Keep it up and you will go far! Very Beautiful!

  4. Way to Go Ben. Looks Awesome!

  5. We don't need "no cheap imitations" - we got the genuine article right here at Mt. Blue in Farmington, Maine!
    Great work; great opportunity. Thanks

  6. That's awesome! Kudos to Ben and the staff!

  7. Is Ben taking orders?

  8. Awesome!
    I'm sure Ben would agree that kudos also go to Rob Olsen for his teaching skills.

  9. Great work, great initiative, great gift to MBC, and great program!

  10. Wow, outstanding work, Ben! I love metalwork.

  11. WOW! I'm impressed!! Impressed with the creativity, initiative, and with a student who realized he could change something to make it better! He might not make it a career, but he sure can use this skill for better things! Good job, Ben!

  12. Will he be selling any or taking orders? Keep us informed.

  13. Excellent job Ben! This project is 'so you.' Thanks for your part in making this campus a special place to learn.

  14. That's my brother!!! So proud of him :)

  15. Very Cool! Great Job!

  16. I think if you want to place orders you can contact the Foster Tech Center.

  17. Im wondering what people mean by "taking orders". Like do you people want exact replicas of the sign, or do you have other projects or what? Don't really need an answer, but thought I would voice my confusion.

  18. Get to see you shine Ben. Wonder work that will leave a positive and lasting touch on our campus.