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Iron Fireplace Hood

Winter time is creeping upon us and you'll be using your fireplace again. I'm a huge fan of custom fireplace doors or screens, but this is another way to really make your fireplace stand out. Once again, like I've said before, this is a huge focal point in your room. Do something different, draw some attention to your fireplace. I love the one in this photo, I wish I could remember where I got this picture from so that I could give recognition to the designer. Keep in mind, you could do this with copper or stainless steel, depending on your style.


How I started working with metal

I've had many people tell me that they wish they knew how to work with metal. I don't blame them, the possibilities are endless when one gets the opportunity to build there own piece of art. I started working with metal in the family business back in high school, we've been in the trucking business for over 77 years and have had a great welding dept. ever since. I was fortunate enough to learn from some of the best welders in the business. It took me a few years to learn that I had a creative side. When I was 17, I built my first piece of furniture and it was a learning curve for sometime after that. I don't think I truly had the whole design concept down until I was 21.

That's when I decided to open a furniture store, man was that an eye opener. You talk about a learning curve, try owning a retail store when you've never even worked in one before. I'm just glad I started out slow. I had the design and fabrication end of it down, now I had to learn about what the public really wanted. I will say that I loved the products we carried, it was a mixture of my work, some products from Mexico and pieces that I had found from an importer from Europe. We had 3,000 square feet of unique and one of kind pieces that you couldn't really find anywhere else. Thank god for my employees, they kept the store running while I was building furniture, running back and forth to Mexico and going to market.

To keep this story from being 15 pages long, I'll fast forward. I had the store for 2 years up until 9/11 came and really slowed things down. I tried to hold on, but I was just barely making it to begin with. People quit buying higher end products for a while, so I quit selling it. I've been working in the family business ever since, but I've always built furniture and architectural products on the side for interior designers and builders. It's something I'll never quit doing. When you have a passion for something you enjoy, don't let anything keep you from doing it.