Controlled Chaos: A Look Inside the New Shop (In Progress)
It’s been a crazy month here at Wicks Forge. We're building two additions to the new workshop while simultaneously moving, unloading, organizing and setting thousands of pounds of tools and equipment into the existing space. And of course, we’re using our normal bootleg system of doing everything ourselves.
It's amazing (and slightly unsettling) how many tools we've accumulated over the years in order to make our product line. What’s even more striking, is how heavy and incredibly cumbersome they are to shift about. Each day this last month has been a triage session of managing multiple projects at once in an attempt to get things back up and running as soon as possible.
Despite the urgency, the first object that went into the space was not a piece of equipment or a pile of tools, but a painting by my mom's high school art teacher. That teacher changed my mom's life by helping her realize her talents– giving her focus and purpose during a difficult time in her childhood. An entire generation later, the gifts he gave her trickled down to me; it showed in the way I was raised and in the prioritization of creation that was instilled in me throughout my childhood. That painting is symbolic of the ethos informing Wicks Forge, that art is not an exclusive luxury, but a necessary and fundamental part of our everyday lives.
There have been times these last weeks when the effort required to keep things moving forward has been disorienting.
For instance, I'm writing this blog on a makeshift table made from old barn board which was set up as a background for a new product photography session that was done during a break from hanging rafters in the addition and after a morning of grinding letter opener blades for a wholesale order while also installing a new electrical panel in the shop.
Was that sentence hard to read? Yes. Imagine living it.
But, creating art, engaging in it, sharing it, and incorporating it into one's everyday life have impacts that can filter out through communities and generations. Having the privilege to share art with others for a living makes all this craziness worth it.
Ultimately all of these problems are good problems; they are steps to continuing the growth of Wicks Forge and the expansion of our team's ability to create new pieces to share with folks around the world.
When I first started blacksmithing, it was because I loved working with my hands and wanted to create things to share with friends and my community. But I never envisioned our community growing in the way it has these last 10 years.
The other day we finally got to fire up the forge in the new shop for the first time. It was an awesome feeling to start creating once again, as the space around us also begins to take shape. We can't wait to see what new creativity and new pieces we come up with, as we take in the possibilities of this new space.