Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Stay at Home Welder

My husband and I own and operate a custom blacksmith shop. Our "shop" (or as we like to call it, our "studio") is on our personal property in a small suburb of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Our studio is alongside the road, and our house is set just off to one side, behind some beautiful 50 + year old cedar bushes. The old town grocery store, formerly known as "Fox Creek Grocery" is now "Maynard Studios" (plural...for "his & hers").

I bring my studies in the Arts, business & accounting training, college degrees etc to the business. My husband is the brain and muscle, the engineer and the hermit. He has shown me how to take my training in art studio & art history, and apply my skills in blacksmithing. He is self taught and became inspired to start swinging a hammer on an anvil from days of climbing around in the Appalachian mountains as a young boy, reading  from the Foxfire series. He is a very dedicated, passionate and brilliant man with an enormous amount of sincerity & patience.

I grew up in the hills a little farther north (Wisconsin) and spent my childhood dreaming in tall grass and trees, preferring mud puddles to Barbies and generally finding mischief with dirt under my fingernails and always having my hair a little messy from some adventure or another. I grew up camping, singing, canoeing, traveling, and just enjoying life. I have 3 kids from a previous marriage, Jakob 20, Ford 17 and  Elaine 16.

Matthew and I  met through a friend, on the way to Burning Man and fell into "best friends" status we've held dearly ever since. Matthew has taught me the art of blacksmithing. I try to drag him out of the house to go do things he wouldn't otherwise do. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't. I started working full-time in our studio, alongside my husband in 2007 after I left Graduate school. In 2010 we incorporated our business as "Maynard Studios". We have no employees, other than two shop cats, black of course to show less dust, but do have one big, fat steel-haulin' truck payment.

This blog is going to be a slow study of my experiences, in the studio as well as the life outside of work that intertwines with it.  And the start of this back and forth story begins this past Sunday, when I discovered the most ultimate filtered-air welding helmet that I have ever seen in my entire life and promptly got fixated on it.

Stick around  to see how the obsession pans out.

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