Stephen Arcese, a senior at Mepham High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District and a second-year welding student at Nassau BOCES, said he has found his passion in creating art from steel.
The 16-year-old Bellmore resident recently finished a two-and-a-half-month steel replica of the American flag.
“After selecting my sheets of metal, I used a welding tool called a MIG to make some shapes,” he explained. “Then I chose chrome for the stripes and used a plasma cutter to create the star design.”
He then gifted the finished flag to social studies teacher, Chris Patten.
“We had to bolt it to the floor because the flag weighs more than 80 pounds,” explained Patten. “It’s just a magnificent piece that we all get to enjoy each day in my classroom.”
Last year, Arcese created a model of the Twin Towers. Both pieces of art are on display in Patten’s third-floor classroom. He is currently working on a vase with intricate roses, further challenging his welding skills.