Celebrate Women in Construction Week With the Metal Workers of Austin Community College

It brings great excitement to honor the talented metal workers of Austin Community College. This past Saturday, I got to sit in on a Technical Welding Class and a Blacksmithing Class. As I walked from lab to lab, I was struck by the camaraderie between all participating—whether it was a student and a teacher, two long time professionals, or a group of aspiring welders cheering each other on. There is a bond stronger than metal. These workers are fused together by sisterhood in the trades.

As Women in Construction Week kicks off, it’s the perfect time to focus on the greatness builders bring to the world and the benefits a career in building can bring to your life. Amplifying the voice of women in construction is one of Crafted in Carhartt’s main missions. So I will now step back and let you hear from each one of these incredible craftspeople.

Dawn Raines

“I am a Senior Lab Assistant for the Welding Technology Department at the Riverside Campus. I have been working in the Department for 10 years. I maintain the shop, assist students and faculty with their classes, troubleshoot and repair issues with machines, order materials and supplies, and run the tool room.”

Dawn’s Accomplishments Include:

  • Bachelor Degree in Art with a minor in Psychology (2006)
  • Associate degree in Art Metals (2014)
  • Welder Certifications in SMAW and FCAW Welding processes (2014)
  • She has been a fabricator, worked in a finish shop where she worked her way up to Final Assembly, and continued her education and personal work along the way.

“It’s a truly rewarding craft. You get to see your projects come to life and learn skills that will empower and inspire a gainful career in a thriving industry…Welding has such a broad scope of possibilities…There is just so much available in the field.” – Dawn Raines

Austin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in Carhartt

Mallory Richter

“I am a student at Austin Community College. For the past five years I have worked in the custom car and motorcycle industry. At the moment I currently weld and do custom car upholstery at a shop in Johnson city. Mainly all classic cars and bikes.

I grew up around a welding shop, and one day the guys told me to come back and help them with something. They suited me up and told me to quickly slide the electrode over the metal like a match. The first time I half way struck an arc, I was sold.

Any women that are even slightly interested in welding, I would tell them to jump into it and take a class or learn from someone you know. I heard a lot of nerve racking things about welding and the ‘culture’ of it growing up, but I really wanted to try it. Welding has changed my life in so many ways and every change has been amazingly positive.” -Mallory Richter

Naomi Barron

“I am a student at ACC, in the last year of completing my Associates Degree in Architectural and Ornamental metals.

I came from a background in sculpting and art, and as I graduated high school I wanted to find a way to support myself financially but also have the opportunity to include factors of art into my career. Welding has a beautiful way of combining function and visual aesthetics into the creation of everyday structures. From viewing an entire gate, with scrolls and delicate flowers, down to the weld bead that constructed the forms, and the finish, everything requires attention to detail. The idea of timelessness and practicality in metalwork drew me into starting my education with ACC in the welding dept.

Welding extends beyond the infrastructure of our society, brute strength and an every day 9-5 for many people. Welding is an art and a science, and to be good at it you have to recognize this.

  • Dive in and do not fear the heat!
  • Starting in a classroom is a great way to get comfortable and familiar with tools and techniques.
  • Enter the field with passion and respect, and own everything you do.
  • Take pride in your practice and no one can discourage you from what you’re working toward.

Honestly there aren’t many things I would say I needed to know before jumping into welding. For me, as a hands on learner the experience has taught me what I need to know along the way. You can gain some understanding reading books on how the process works, but the crucial information comes from having your hood down and a torch in your hands.

The best thing about welding is the opportunity to engage yourself fully into your work. In both my technical classes and my art classes, once you pick up the torch you become engulfed in what’s in front of you. It takes your focus and attention to lay down consistent beads, to hammer or mold the metal into forms, to see how small components create a larger object. It’s like having a moment to meditate for me, the sounds of electrons jumping across the arc, the rhythmic beating of a hammer, it takes your whole body working together; it uses the 5 senses fully engaged. Feeling the flow of both physical and mental energy to transform materials.” -Noami Barron

Austin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in Carhartt

Brooke Williams

“I am a welding instructor here at Austin Community College…

I dropped out of traditional college in 2003 and was trying to figure out my next steps. My brother introduced me to welding at his home shop and then told me to go down to Austin Community College to learn the trade. It’s been my passion ever since I stuck that first arc.” -Brooke Williams

Brooke’s experience since then:

  • she’s been in the industry for 15 years
  • worked as a welder fabricator for 8 years
  • been a certified welding inspector for 12 years
  • she’s taught welding for 11 years
  • served as department chair for 7 years
  • and has owned her own metal fabrication company for 6 years

Brooke’s advice for beginners:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, make noise, be seen, and take up space.
  • Networking is one of the most important soft skills you can learn.
  • Embrace your mistakes because they’ll make you a better you.
  • It is a skill that takes years and decades of work and practice to learn and master. It is also such a large industry that you can spend your whole life learning new techniques, processes, and materials. It never stops evolving.

Amy Sherman

“I’m a currently a student studying metalsmithing. I have a BFA from Skidmore College with my focus in photography, photo silkscreen graphics, and painting. I took some sculpture and jewelry classes, but was always interested in metallurgy, metal sculpture and welding, and now more recently metalsmithing and blacksmithing.

The program ACC offers is fantastic, and a great alternative to traditional 4 year degrees. The welding certification gets you out making a great hourly wage in only 2 years. As an artist, there are also practical applications for the skills learned at ACC, from creating sculptures and showing/selling art, to creating decorative gates/finials, yard art, plant/mailbox hangers, bottle openers, coat hooks, etc. The possibilities are endless! There’s something deeply satisfying about making steel do your bidding, in what is traditionally a male dominated field, whether as a practical welder or a blacksmith.” -Amy Sherman

Austin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in Carhartt

Maren Scheie

  • In 1995, Maren joined the Army as a Metal Worker.
  • Eventually, she left active duty and moved back to Texas.
  • Since 2009, Maren has been in the reserves and has taught elementary school for 16 years.
  • In 2017, she was deployed to Kuwait.
  • Upon returning to the US, she reevaluated her career and decided to take welding classes.

“It is hard, but not the kind of hard that should stop anyone from starting to learn the skill. The way to become a good welder is lots of time practicing. It can also be frustrating because you think you are holding the electrode at the proper angle and it turns out you are way off. So you try again, again, again, and then suddenly you nail it.

The need for welders is rising, as the older folks retire, and all the kids are being told a 4 year degree is the way to go, trade schools are stigmatized. When I mention I’m in school for welding the response is very positive. That could be because I’m female and almost 50…not sure, but people are impressed. Because of the shortage of welders it’s a great field to get into. Jobs are waiting to be filled. And there’s something addicting about watching metal melt.” -Maren Scheie

Mary Jo Emerick

“I am a 40 year welder CWI, CWE, and a teacher. I learned to weld in Houston in 1976 started in structural steel SMAW, then after 2 years started Pipe welding GTAW, next I moved on to chamber welding  tantalum, titanium, and Niobium. Moved to Austin in 1981, in 1983 started working at the University of Texas at Applied Research Laboratory for the Navy Lab, and starting teaching welding 2010.” – Mary Jo Emerick

Advice from Mary Jo:

  • Welding is a job don’t take it personal.
  • Love what you are doing. There are so many areas you can go into.
  • Keep learning, the industry changes.
  • Fabrication involves math and seeing a part in three dimensions.
  • When metal making, if the end product is done right, it is a work of art.

Austin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in Carhartt

Erin Dooner

“I’m an interior designer/decorator, former lifestyle design shop owner, artist, student, and single mom. I’ve been doing interior design for over 15 years. I’ve always wanted to get into building and furniture design. I took a welding workshop a few years ago to explore more about welding for furniture design and fell in love it!  I wanted to be able to have the experience of building/welding to help me understand how to design better.

I wish I had started off taking more technical/vocation courses and dove into the craft. I can read about design all day but getting my hands dirty has been the best thing ever. 

ACC has been great. As an older woman and single mom re-imagining my career I’ve had nothing but support from the admin and teachers. I’ve never felt out of place and love the welding community here.

Welding can be for anyone. Any gender, any age, any experience level. You have to rely on your fellow workers to provide support and so all barriers kind of break down.” -Erin Dooner

Alexis Menedez

“I’m a second semester student. I work as a lab tech at the school.

Since I’ve started taking classes and telling people that, I’ve gotten mixed opinions. Most people look at me (a 5’5 120 lb woman) and express first shock and then admiration. But others look down on it because it’s a trade skill. I wish people didn’t look down on trades and I wish I knew how to change the negative and often condescending tones attached to people’s ideas of them.

Reason’s Alexis loves her trade:

  • The thrill of welding a bead that’s just right.
  • Feeling confident in my ability to build something. Welding makes me feel strong and confident.
  • Learning to weld is like nothing I’ve ever learned before and at first I felt entirely out of my element but now each new challenge just excites me.” -Alexis Menedez

Andrea Deleon

“I have been teaching small metals fabrication for 6 years at Creative Side Jewelry Academy. Even though I have basic skills in welding and fabricating, I take classes at ACC every now and then to make sure I hone my skills – there is always room for improvement. For the last few years, I have become a kind of ‘hired gun’ traveling around the country working for specific companies and artists that require my skills.

  • I graduated with a Studio Arts degree from the University of Texas; I learned how to make things using a multitude of mediums. Metals and sculpture was my emphasis.
  • Upon graduating I was a production glassblower working on glass lathes before transitioning to being a machinist (mostly working on a Bridgeport mill and Hardinge lathe) for a company that fixed electron microscopes. I was trained at the job.
  • I began teaching at the Jewelry Academy while working as a machinist and slowly transitioned into teaching more often since it felt so natural. Being an instructor allowed me the flexibility to pursue unique job opportunities and artist residencies as well as start an entrepreneurial endeavor making custom handmade knives.
  • I’ve worked as a museum fabricator and installer, art handler, scientific glassblower (very similar to welding and machining), and worked for artists nationwide and in Germany.

If anything I wish I could have told my former self not to worry so much about having a direct path; I really wish I would have known about all the opportunities I’ve been able to pursue due to my training and determination, but my career path has been anything but straight. It’s okay to put yourself out there and try things out.” -Andrea Deleon

Suzanne Baas

“I have been working in welding since 1998, when I got my first job doing ornamental ironwork after taking an intro class at ACC. Since then, I have worked for quite a few companies in Austin, started a shop of my own, and continued to take classes at ACC. This is a good time to mention that ACC has provided me with some truly amazing experiences and opportunities through the years. I got to study welding abroad in a sister-city program, as well as attend an extensive workshop in  Mexico with 20+ other blacksmiths from ACC. I have very warm feelings for the metals department, so when I was given the opportunity to teach there 3 years ago, I was very happy to try and do my best.

I became interested in welding when I was in college, studying liberal arts, but taking a broad range of studio art classes as well. I have a ton of metals classes on my transcript, but they were almost all working in non-ferrous metals on the small scale. I took one sculpture class where the instructor showed us stick welding, and I was dazzled. It was instantly something I wanted to do. I even dropped out of school, moved across the country, and tried to join up with this art group I idolized. I ended up back in school when my metal skills weren’t good enough to contribute to their projects.

What I wish I had known before starting my career is what I would like other women getting into welding to know:  it is best to have another facet or revenue stream besides welding or metalsmithing labor. A complimentary profession like welding inspection, CAD, design, architecture, construction, teaching, business or project management will really go a long way in opening doors as well as reducing stress when the unexpected happens.  I had to learn this the hard way when we had the financial crisis in 2008.

But, that being said, nothing would have deterred me from the path once I had found it. Nothing compares to the drama of molten steel, or the thrill of bending it to your will! Nothing compares to the magic of fusing metal together; with the formidable electric arc, or the punishing heat of gas or coal and your hammer. The power to build something new, making bonds that are stronger than the material it is made from, it is very gratifying. If you know your craft well, and execute your work with forethought and skill, you can count on your creations long outliving you.” -Suzanne Baas

Jessica Davila

“I’m a senior student in the ACC Code Welding program. So far I’ve had one official welding job which is a paid apprenticeship in pipe fitting/welding. This has allowed me to become a paid 6g certified welder.

I first became interested in welding in college. I had changed my major 4 times before I even thought about welding and was tired of sitting in a classroom behind a desk, so I tried out the Austin Community College welding program and I love it.

Jessica’s advice for aspiring welders:

  • Take up space and own it!
  • For women who want to join the trade, I say 100% do it and when you do, practice, practice, practice!
  • Get good! Anyone can say they’re a welder but the truth comes out then the hood goes down. 

Welding is not for the undetermined, and if you put in the time behind the hood and in the classroom reading blueprints it will pay off and set a good foundation for your career.” -Jessica Davila

Austin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in CarharttAustin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in CarharttAustin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in CarharttAustin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in CarharttAustin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in CarharttAustin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in CarharttAustin Community College / Women in Construction / Crafted in CarharttA big thank you to all the women building the world around us. You are an inspiration and an integral part of the world’s growth and well-being.

To find out more about Austin Community College, click here.

Welder Liisa Pine

Meet Welder Liisa Pine. She took her first welding class in 1991, thinking it would be a check off her bucket list. Instead, she found her path.

“The most common misconception people have about my work is that it doesn’t provide challenge or a rewarding career path for intelligent people. The welding field is huge, more like a tree than a ladder. It includes not only hands-on welders, but welding engineers, equipment salespeople, contractors, artisans. I use my university degree every day, whether I am building something, discussing metallurgy, or writing a grant.”-Liisa Pine

Welder Liisa Pine / Crafted in Carhartt
“The biggest thing that I hope my son learns from seeing me in my field is that it is absolutely normal. I would love for him to take it completely for granted.” -Welder Liisa Pine

“My son Rowan is 5. I can’t wait to get him started welding. Learning it teaches you so much about yourself and about learning, like a martial art. At the same time, he’ll let me know when he’s ready. I’ve seen too many kids start at the wrong time in their personal development, and it’s amazing how ineffective that is. In general though, he’ll grow up making and repairing things, as much for curiosity’s sake as for practicality. In our family, the hands and brain are a team.” -Welder Liisa Pine

Welder Liisa Pine / Crafted in Carhartt
“The best part of my job is working with dangerous tools and permanent materials. They don’t care who you are, you’d just better handle it right. Your work ethic is obvious, and your results don’t lie.” -Liisa Pine

Welder Liisa Pine / Crafted in Carhartt

“Get started, meet people. Find the ones you like and become someone they can depend on. Join the American Welding Society, get involved in your local chapter. And stretch the hell out of your comfort zone, every day.” -Welder Liisa Pine, @sparksorwhatever

The Women of Iron Maiden Welding

Iron Maiden Welding, a small business in Bozeman, Montana, is owned and operated by Brenda Gayer. She’s been selling her work since she was 16 years old, and has now developed her brand into one of a kind, colorful works of art.

“Get out there and do it! Get a job where you can learn as much about it as possible. Even if you start at the bottom and work your way up. You can never learn enough.

Like anything, (welding) has its ups and downs. Attitude and confidence are the key. If you go into a situation with the ‘I got this!’ outlook, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman. Stay true to you! Be confident! Be confident!” -Welder Brenda Gayer

The Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in CarharttThe Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in Carhartt

Tiffani, who’s been working with her for 2 and a half years, loves the job and hopes to create a small business of her own some day.

“I have been welding for 8 years now, and High School is where I discovered my passion for it. Welding was interesting to me, because it is something that has been a part of my family for generations. My father’s got his first job as a welder following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. I figured it was the perfect thing for me to try that was different and challenging.

I recommend that all young people try welding if they have the opportunity, or find some sort of trade that they find enjoyable and can be skillful at. Welding has given me a lot of job opportunities, and I think it is something especially women should try.

What I love about welding most is that it gives me the ability to express myself and be different, because not a lot of people I meet can do what I do.” -Welder Tiffani Eccleston

The Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in Carhartt

The Women of Iron Maiden Welding / Crafted in Carhartt

Click here to find out more about Iron Maiden Welding.

Welder Jen Mosier

“It was a total accident that I found a love for welding. I trace it back to a metalsmithing class in undergrad. I was still thinking about metal years later, but when I transferred to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I found that all the metalsmithing classes were full. The only other way into metalworking was a class about building a furnace for pouring iron. It was a big leap, but that’s where I got acquainted with the large machines and tools, as well as welding. Thankfully a few patient students and professors—now some of my good friends—helped me understand the basics of those tools. I went from working on jewelry on a very small scale to the opposite end of the spectrum. I still make some jewelry, but welding big stuff is my jam.

Welding is empowering. It forces you to consider the physics of moving heavy steel, while often navigating confined spaces. You have to be clever, independent and you have to trust yourself. There’s a grittiness to welding that comes with the territory, and you have to be adaptable to do the work. I’m not afraid to stand on the table to find a more precise position to weld.

Females in traditionally male-dominated fields have to be double tough. I know several other women who weld, and they all have a story about how they have to work extra hard just to earn the respect of their male counterparts. For my master’s thesis, I wrote a small handbook on how to become a female metalworker, and I got to interview some of these badass women welders, fabricators and sculptors. You might think that female welders sit around and chat about their experiences as women in these fields, but that’s not really the case. These interviews were the first time I heard their stories of struggle, which inevitably led to triumph because they chose to ignore the negative commentary and just get the job done. For some of the more competitive women, they let those comments fuel their fire to complete the work.

For anyone looking to get into welding, I’d say just go for it. For women, there’s a unspoken required tenacity. Depending on the shop leadership, there could be a bit more to deal with than just completing projects. A few guys discouraged me from learning how to weld because of the potential danger of electric shock or burns. I let the idea of getting shocked sink in so much that I believed it was more dangerous than it really is. Nonetheless, you still have to be careful around the equipment and always pay attention to your surroundings. In the end, having some of that fear rewards you to do everything right and safely.” -Jen Mosier

Welder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in CarharttWelder Jen Mosier / Crafted in Carhartt

“I’ve heard so many women say they are afraid of welding, and I wish that wasn’t the case. Depending on the project, welding can be quite straightforward. Granted, there’s more to know about welding than just how to wear the gear and turn on the machine. There’s a technical side which involves clamping and building jigs, which is where things start to get interesting. Everyone should know there is a high level of satisfaction in working with metal and shaping it into something functional” -Jen Mosier

Don’t miss out on the Lady Welder’s Handbook Jen put together.

Oakland Ironworker Diana

Ten years after becoming a proud member of the Ironworkers Union Local 377, Diana decided it was time to be her own boss. Venturing out on her own to open DC Metal Work, a metal fabrication company that’s stood tall amongst a male dominated field. 15 years later, Diana’s deep sense of accomplishment is why she’s always eager to provide other females with the encouragement and gentle nudge they might need to join the trades. She even shares her welding chops and experience with students at the Oakland-based school of crafts, The Crucible. That is, when she isn’t too busy passing down the blue-prints to the way around the workshop to Diana’s 9-year- old daughter Lucy.

Bay Area Welder Diana Planson / Crafted in CarharttBay Area Welder Diana Planson / Crafted in CarharttBay Area Welder Diana Planson / Crafted in CarharttBay Area Welder Diana Planson / Crafted in CarharttBay Area Welder Diana Planson / Crafted in Carhartt

Fear Is Just a Feeling, The Fact Is That You Can

“I wish people knew that unions protect fair wages/benefits/rights for the working class, for people trying to make an honest living.

And, if you’re a woman and like working with your hands, there’s only one thing that can stop you from joining the trades, the fear of thinking that you can’t, fear is just a feeling, the fact is that you CAN.”

Chicago Ironworker, Ana Lopez

Chicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in CarharttChicago Ironworker Ana Lopez / Crafted in Carhartt

Q & A with Metal Worker Kate Silvio

Michigan metal worker, Kate Silvio, has appeared on the blog many times over the past few years. She’s a talented, strong, capable artist with a great outlook on life. It’s my hope to pass on a bit of her wisdom with you.

Q: What advice do you have for women looking to get into metal work?

A: Advice that I have to women who are looking to get into metal work is the same to that I would give to men looking to getting into metal. Every interaction with another artist/maker/welder is an opportunity to learn. Be prepared to spend a lot time in the studio and be open to critique and instruction from mentors as well as peers. Also, have heroes… you need to know what’s going on and what has gone on in the art world to be able to operate in it.

Advice I would give directly to women is to take as many precautions as you can to physically protect your body from any possible long-term side effects of welding and fabrication. As uncomfortable as some respirators, goggles, face shields, earmuffs etc. can be, it is extremely important that your first priority is personal safety. Unfortunately, there is very little, if any, research on long-term effects on breathing welding fumes and dust on women and you don’t want to be that statistic.

Q: What common misconceptions do people have about metal work?

A: The only common misconception that I can think of is that people assume that women aren’t interested in metalwork or can’t do what men can do in a shop. I taught students how to weld for 12 years and I often found that women picked up the skill quicker because they had a much more sensitive touch and were more conscious of technique. Not to say that I didn’t know a lot of great male welders!

Q: What is the best part of what you do?
A: The best part of what I do is the idea that someone would want to wake up everyday and look at something that I’ve created…

Q: What inspires you?

A: I draw a lot of inspiration from my girls… the freedom that my four year old has to create is astounding. She isn’t bound by material, technique, skill, or insecurities… she just makes. It’s good for me to remember to forget everything.

Want to see more? Take a look at Kate’s work here.

Metal Worker Kate Silvio / Crafted in Carhartt


The Brewster Denim Jacket

The Brewster / Crafted in Carhartt

The Brewster / Crafted in CarharttThe Brewster / Crafted in CarharttThe Brewster Denim Jacket:

  • Button front
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Triple-stitched main seams
  • Drop-tail hem adds coverage
  • 9-ounce, 99% cotton/1% spandex denim
  • Two chest pockets and two zipper-secured lower-front pockets

Detroit artist Kate Silvio pictured above. Read more about her and her remarkable metalwork here.

Welder Ryn Adkins

Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
Ryn Adkins / Crafted in Carhartt
You might notice the stark difference between a high tea time set and the creative alternative cup and saucer Ryn Adkins is working on the photos above. Crossing mediums and taking a twist on depth of field, this dinnerware pair is an imaginative spin for table settings. As a designer and craftsman, Ryn came up with the concept, threw the teacups from clay, and welded the pyramid-shaped coaster.

Ryn is a co-founder of pop-up restaurant, Roux, where food and design have been blended into a whole new type of dining experience. In years to come, she hopes to further include the source of the food into the mix— putting food, farm, and craftsmen together in the venture.

In my conversation with Ryn, the pursuance of passion in life is a crucial building block in her plans. Find the field you want to be in and dig as deep as you possibly can. If you’re focusing on Industrial and Interactive Design, learn about the properties of metal, the ins-and-outs of woodworking, and get a feel for ceramics. When you love what you do, it not work— it’s a way of life. What do you love doing? How do you spend your free time?

Ryn took a step back and saw how she combined skills she’s loved since childhood. If you’re still searching for your own path, give your memories a chance to guide you.

“Reflecting on my childhood, I think I’ve always had an interest in design and food, from making bon appétit mud patties in my back yard to building lego duplexes in my bedroom.” —Ryn Adkins

Ryn is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Sandstone Active Jacket, Clarksburg Quarter-Zip Sweatshirt, Series 1889 Slim Double Front Pants, & Soft Hands Glove.

Anne Bujold of Riveted Rabbit

Anne Bujold the Blacksmith

Anne Bujold the Blacksmith

Anne Bujold the Blacksmith

Anne Bujold the Blacksmith
Anne Bujold the Blacksmith
Anne Bujold the Blacksmith
Anne Bujold the Blacksmith Anne Bujold the Blacksmith
Anne Bujold the Blacksmith
Anne Bujold the Blacksmith

Those of you who have ever wanted to learn a trade or a skill know that it seems quite daunting. There’s so much to master and it can feel like you’re putting yourself on the line. Take some advice from Anne Bujold, welder and blacksmith. Start small and work your way up to the big stuff.
Anne’s interest in metalwork started in jewelry making. As her skills grew and she became proficient at fabricating bigger and better things, the possibilities continued to grow in her mind. The knowledge she gained in classes and from mentors led her to expand the concepts of what she considered herself capable of doing.
Knowledge is power. The saying may be old and trite, but it doesn’t make it any less true. When you want something, get your feet wet. Learn as much as you can. Keep an open mind and open ears to hear advice and encouragement. Being a woman in what is typically a man’s world may take a little more elbow grease in the long run. Don’t let that dampen your spirit. Use it as fire to fuel the flames of your passion.
One of Anne’s favorite aspects metalwork is the rush she feels as she wields her hammer. Forging hot metal is dangerous and powerful. Keep that in mind as you view some of her finished work above. Don’t let the fanciful nature of her art fool you into forgetting the labor and ingenuity behind each bend and curve.

Anne’s workwear: Carhartt Women’s Zip-Front Sweatshirt, Carhartt Women’s Calumet Crewneck T-Shirt, Carhartt Women’s Clarkston Cami Tank, Carhartt Women’s Relaxed-Fit Canvas Cane Dungaree, & Carhartt Women’s Quick Flex Glove