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Growing up in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina I was accustomed to playing outside in the woods and creeks, opening up my mind to creativity. I have always been very hands-on and creative. I would make paper dye with wild violets and mold bowls from clay dug out of the creek banks. Later on I taught myself how to macramé and learned the art of Bonsai. My mother and her family are very artistic and creative with design. My father is a hard working farmer. I believe I have both these attributes, and that when these traits are combined they fit perfectly the description of a blacksmith: hard work mixed with creative spirit.

I began blacksmithing in the fall of 2008 at the age of thirteen, starting out with nothing but a pit fire and a trailer hitch for an anvil. Over the last few years I’ve worked my way up by purchasing new equ2 $*x$*$7 $*x$*xp$*x$*hop over a two-year period. Once this foundation was established, I had my business well under way before graduating from high school.

I always get asked how and why I got started in blacksmithing at the age I did. One might think that I saw a blacksmith at a local fair or read about it in school and ran home to try it out. There was no conscious reason why I started, it's just called being a 13 year old boy. There is nothing else to it: It feels innate to me, like I was born to do it. Once I started heating up and hammering on steel, I knew it felt right. Only afterward did I discover what I was doing was called blacksmithing. Today I’m nineteen years old and an accomplished blacksmith with six years of experience. My work has sold to buyers and collectors internationally.

I believe that high school hindered me in a way, since I discovered my vocation at such a young age. Getting an education is imperative, but at the same time it felt nearly obsolete for7 $*x$*$< $*x$*sp$*x$*ssion, of which I’m fortunate to have plenty for blacksmithing. Work hard and love what you do, and it will all seem like play!

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