Red curtains. They are there for practical purposes - welding screens to protect the eyes from the intense glare of the arc. Brazing happens on one side of the shop, welding on the other. In the middle is this vinyl semi-transparent barrier. But the red backdrop spreads an aura around the room, bathing it in a mysterious, yet energising light. I see the light flicker dimly behind it, and somehow the universe seems to make sense.
The blue work shirt. My grandfather worked in a machine shop and wore one well into his old age. In the '90s, the boys I went to high school with wore the same shirts because it was fashionable. They played in garage bands and dressed like mechanics, never having been near a wrench, which used to annoy me. Now some of them wear blue work shirts unironically, having indeed become mechanics or machinists. So it goes.
Blue buckets full of gloves, cotton and leather. I burned myself three times building my first frame. Once by picking up a piece of scrap metal after it had just been hole-sawed off. Another time by grabbing the frame too soon after it had been torch-dried post washing. And the third time by accidentally brushing the hop tip of a filler rod against my cheek. Who knows, sometimes the gloves help. Other times they are a hazard and can get stuck in a machine.
Yellow packaging, labels, warning signs, equipment decals. It is noticeable, even in a sea of other colours. See me, read me, peel me.
Yellow booklets, dusty yellow machines. I am too easily enticed to visit the other side of the curtain.