The craft bug bit me later on in life. I have always been something of an escapist -- be it getting lost in a good book, or a captivating video game, or playing fantasy table-top roleplay games. So, it came as quite a shock to my parents when my escapism took the form of me joining the Army out of high school and during a time of war.
Fast forward six years and I was out of the Army and dealing with the shock of civilian life and also dealing with a chewed up body and mind, something nearly every vet can relate to. I needed a release, something that books and video games just weren't providing. So, my girlfriend (now wife) bought me a little firebrick forge for Christmas and, pun intended, sparked my interest in blacksmithing.
A ten-week long introduction program later, half of our garage was turned into a forge, much to her dismay. The craft bug had hit me hard, moreover, I felt a calm that I hadn’t in a long time. Many days and buckets of sweat were shed in that garage making hooks, cabinet handles, pokers, and fancy twisted skewers until medical issues from my military service made it unbearable to do.
I suffer from degenerative disc disease and from that some additional nerve pain issues. Most days I’m at some level of discomfort even doing simple daily life tasks so swinging a hammer for hours on end was out of the question. It was at that point that I met a friendly leatherworker at a craft market.
I binged leathercraft videos on YouTube -- devouring hours upon hours of tutorials, projects, tool reviews, etc. For weeks leather was all I thought about and finally one day I pulled the trigger and bought the bare essentials I’d need, cue a massive craft bug bite.
With the support of my wife, family, and a few friends I’ve turned this hobby into my job. My workspace is humble, my tools modest, but it is my own. I can be my own boss and be able to be flexible with my schedule when my medical problems aren’t.
And it’s people like you that make it possible. People like you who care to read the “About Me” section to the last lines. You and your support make it possible for me to keep my business running, help keep the bills paid, and kibble in the dog bowls. Thank you.