10 questions with a blacksmith

Have you ever wanted to know how to become a blacksmith?

It can be tricky finding out what it’s like to work in a non-office job if you don’t have a role model who can provide some insight or a pathway in for you.

Messy’s decided to interview Jordan Kachellek, a Croydon based blacksmith and fabricator, who can give you an idea of what it’s like.

1) How did you get into it?

I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to work with my hands from a young age but it wasn’t until I was in secondary school that I realised I wanted to work with metal. I did a blacksmithing taster day at fire and iron gallery down in Leatherhead and this is when I fell in love with the craft. 

2) How many years have you been working in this job?

I’ve been metalworking for a decade now.

3) What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the field?

I would absolutely recommend finding a taster day course. Becoming a blacksmith is a commitment. There’s plenty of these available across the country. These courses range from beginner to advanced depending on who’s offering them. 

4) What’s the best part of it?

I think of of my favourite parts is the problem solving that’s involved with metalworking because there’s always multiple ways to achieve what outcome you’re looking for.

5) What’s the worst part of it?

How dangerous some of the tools and machinery can be.

6) Most memorable day/ event at work? 

My most memorable day is definitely when I was working at the Center for Metals Arts in Pennsylvania and it was my first time working with a restored Cambria iron company chamberburg 3000 steam hammer. Where I was fortunate enough to work along side Pat Quinn and his team.

7) Have you always wanted to do it?

Before I got into blacksmithing I did consider becoming a product designer instead. 

      8. Tell us about your first day at work?

My first job wasn’t actually related to what I do now. My first day was in a kitchen as a trainee chef and all I did on my first day was prepare food. 

      9. Worst mistake you’ve made on the job, and what did it teach you?

I made a structural steel job incorrect to the drawings that were provided and I ended up costing the company I was working for several thousand pounds and having to remake the job.

     10. How fulfilled are you?

On a scale of 1-10 probably a 7 but I think that’ll go up in the next few years as I slowly transition from working full time in fabrication to full time in blacksmithing.

For more of our ’10 questions with’ series, see our Convo’s with Clever Clogs page.

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