Donna Reinsel at the Art League School

Jumpstart In Welding

Furniture Design & Construction

Jumpstart In Welding



2-Day Workshop


Saturday, September 12 

& Sunday, September 13

10:00 am-4:00 pm 

Welding isn't just for industrial manufacturing! 

Anyone can get the hang of this process for metal sculpture. 

This workshop is ideal for those with little or no experience with steel work and who just want a chance to see what welding is all about. Students create a fun pig while learning the basics of gas welding and the use of metalworking tools. 

Metal Sculpture

Furniture Design & Construction

Jumpstart In Welding




9-Week Class



Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


Mondays 10:00 am-1:00 pm


Sundays 10:00 am-1:00 pm 

This course is designed for both the absolute beginner and the experienced artist. Students learn oxyacetylene welding and cutting, metal-bending, drilling, grinding, finishing techniques, and the use of proper safety precautions. Working with the instructor, students design their own projects and create sculptural works while they hone metal working skills. 

Individual attention and a 

hands-on approach address the needs of students at all skill levels.   

Photo: Jeremiah McCloud

Furniture Design & Construction

Furniture Design & Construction

Furniture Design & Construction

Photo by Jeremiah McCloud




 9-Week Class



Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall 

Fridays 6:30-9:30 pm

Absolute beginners and metalworkers of all skill levels become proficient 

in oxyacetylene steel fabrication as it applies to furniture making. 

With individual instructor guidance, each student uses creative problem solving to design and build a small object such as chair, table, lamp, chandelier, shelf or a picture frame in a traditional, modern or artistic style. 

Group and individual instruction covers steel selection, clamping, finishes, and the sage use of power tools like the drill press, plasma cutter and MIG welder. 

Experience in welding or design is not required. 

 Photo: Jeremiah McCloud 

The Ottowoman Project

The Ottowoman Project

Furniture Design & Construction





 With the Alexandria Seaport Foundation

Steel, Wood, and Upholstery

10-Week Class


In this fun and fast-paced three-part skills class, students learn the basics of  welding, woodworking, and upholstery 

as they create a one-of-a-kind steel and hardwood storage ottoman. 

This adventurous class is perfectly appropriate for you, whether you have no experience at all or if you have some previous skill. 

See the Art League blog post here:

Why Learn to Weld?

The Ottowoman Project

Why Learn to Weld?


When you know how to weld, you have the power to create whatever you want--a sculpture, a table, a lamp, even a trailer hitch--that’s strong and resilient. 

Learning metalworking is a confidence builder.


For some students, their metal class is a precious haven, three hours each week put aside just to create.

It may be hard to believe at first, but welding can be relaxing and even meditative.

It’s hard work and it’s so rewarding 

that it’s hard to stop!

There's nothing else like welding! 

Why I Teach

The Ottowoman Project

Why Learn to Weld?


I love to guide new students through nervousness and frustration to 

empowerment and success

It’s gratifying when I see change in a new student’s face even after their first try at welding. Sometimes it’s so dramatic I feel like I should take before and after photos!

We need to work with our hands, to conceive an idea and to bring it into physical reality.  When we do, we become calmer and more centered and it helps us to navigate the world in a more thoughtful way.

I hope that by teaching students to weld, I'm doing my part to transform the DC area one welding torch at a time!

Student Testimonials


I was so excited about learning to weld but I had no idea how much fun it would be until I was in the Jumpstart in Welding/piggy bank workshop and so much of it was because of the instructor! 

Donna is an amazing teacher and mentor

She is thoughtful and patient and so very skilled at her craft. 

I recommend this for anyone! 

--Susie C.

 I recently completed the 10-week Otto(wo)man Project class at the Art League with Donna. I have long been interested in furniture, and this class was such a rewarding opportunity to get to build something practical and beautiful. Donna is an extremely knowledgeable, encouraging, and generous instructor. She brings just the right amount of demonstration and one-on-one attention, while allowing students to develop their skills and confidence by getting into the tools. This also created a wonderful studio atmosphere of support among students, as we shared amongst ourselves what we were learning that day. I quickly learned new skills that I look forward to putting to use on future projects. I highly recommend taking one of Donna's classes. 

--Katherine T.

Truly  cannot thank you enough for the brilliant memories - the Jumpstart in Welding workshop this weekend was imprinted-a gift made all the better by you. 

Your grace in teaching such a dynamic art form in a safe, calm and encouraging  manner made the least skilled (me) feel competent and successful.  

No small feat! I love my peace and piece. Thank you again.  

 --Virginia P. 

I’ve wanted to try welding for years and finally signed up for a class with Donna at the Art League. With every class, my confidence and skill have grown and 

now I’m hooked! 

Donna is a great teacher and a creative artist. 

Her students have very different styles and goals, and she manages to tailor her approach to ensure each of us can bring our own unique designs to life

It’s no wonder that Donna’s students come back semester after semester.                              

--Nicole M.            

 "I have found Donna to be a great teacher, in every way.  

I've taken her classes three times, so far, and she teaches and guides me more each time.  I see Donna helping all her students develop their own talents, at their own speed, and she gets just as excited as the students do when their projects take form and mature. 

Learning from and with her is a real joy

--David W.

I have taken several classes under Donna Reinsel. She is open and excited about student’s ideas & projects. She encourages students to explore and take reasonable risks. 

She is one of the most relaxed and resourceful instructors I have had. 

Donna is generous with her knowledge and experience as an artist. 

She quickly helps students find artistic & technical solutions to complicated challenges, building confidence and competence in others

Donna is a joy to work with!

--Sharon T.

"I had decided to take Donna's Metal Sculpture Class because I wanted to explore a new art medium and welding was something I didn't want to learn without supervision. 

I was both excited and intimidated on my first day of class, but I was amazed at how quickly I became comfortable welding! 

Donna is a wonderful instructor whose humor and knowledge made learning to weld an experience I looked forward to each week. 

Working with metal is now one of my favorite art projects, and after this class, I feel safe and confident welding in my home studio"

--Jennifer R.   

"accessible and experienced"  

"advice that keeps you safe, without limiting artistic expression"  

"rock star welder"       "walks the talk"  

"knows metal, and the equipment that melts it"  

"a relaxed teacher who knows her stuff"  

"a generous instructor, always there to help & advise"  

"the whole package--

safety, advice, tools and ideas to help make your idea"

--Jeff T. 

Years before the Ottowoman Project, I had been thinking about taking woodworking and metal working classes. I had dreamed of making furniture and sculpture, but I couldn't find any offerings for what I wanted to do, so these remained dreams and not a reality--that was, until the Ottowoman Project came along.  

This class taught me how to use woodworking machines to make the box portion of the "ottowoman" and the welding skills to make its base, as well as upholstering skills to complete the project, and it did so in a friendly and educational environment.  

Many of us have never used these machines before, and in each of the 10-week classes, we were given instruction and guidance on the use of each machine and taught, step-by-step, how to make the individual pieces of the "ottowoman." If we had questions, the teachers answered them and gave us further individualized instruction, as needed.  

It was a real confidence builder. At the end of the 10-week class, we have a small, beautiful piece of furniture!  

If you have wanted to make furniture or sculpture, but were intimidated by woodworking or welding or never knew where to start, then this class is for you!  

This class will give you the confidence to make a piece of furniture and will open up possibilities for sculpture and larger pieces of furniture in the future.  

Go for it!  (And men, you are welcome, too!)          

--Victoria H.   


Donna, I really enjoy the metal sculpture class. 

You do a great job of sharing your knowledge and coaching students through the welding process. Your approach provides a safe environment where students can learn, step-by-step, through “hands on” experience. Now that I’ve been in the class for awhile, I’m beginning to think in terms of steel… and that’s exciting. 

I’m happy in my welding gloves. I’ll be back.                  

--Mike R.      


Donna is a patient, supportive instructor who helped me discover my untapped artistic talent. The prospect of creating with fire and metal appears like intimidating alchemy to the uninitiated, but Donna’s easy manner gave me the confidence to embrace the journey of learning a new technical skill and artistic creation.

--Matt W.

I enjoyed every minute of your class. I came with no welding experience whatsoever.  I had never even held a welding torch but watching as you patiently repeated the process of lighting an oxyacetylene torch gave me the confidence to try it myself, and I did!  On the first day! I went home thinking, I can do this.  

Lighting the torch on the second day was daunting for most but you calmly went from student to student showing each step.  Next you demonstrated how to cut steel on the chop saw, all the while explaining shop procedures. Soon we were cutting steel and welding pieces to make a box. 

Working with metal is a challenge.  As you so aptly put it, “everything is hard,” and yet by the third day in the shop I was cutting steel on the chop saw, smoothing pieces on the grinder, and piece by piece welding my sculpture together.  Having the freedom to design my own project was important to me.  It allowed me to engage in the creative process of design and to solve problems as they arose.  I felt that I was learning more than a set of skills.  I was learning to design in metal.  

We learn though experience. We learn best when someone with experience shows us the way.  In that respect, even though we all had different projects, we were together, working together, talking together, learning together in a cooperative atmosphere set by your example. It was so common to see you working with someone at their bench or demonstrating a new skill to a small group.  We all knew you were there for us, to answer our questions, to show us the way.  

Throughout our nine classes your knowledge as a welder, as an artist and as an instructor gave us the skills and confidence to tackle complex projects.  We are now welders! Thank you!

--John  Perriello