Oh, the glamour!
Getting out of school I had visions of building large architectural pieces. Nothing grandiose, maybe some cathedral gates, a few public installations, just small stuff like that.
What I quickly found out was that work was going to be trying to build custom solutions to small problems that couldn't be easily fixed with big box store hardware.
Case in point, after writing an article for the local business improvement area about the difference between preservation, restoration and renovation in metal work I got a call from a home owner to price a job. His front railings had rotted out, as posts can do when set in concrete, and his railing was falling down.
Building brackets to slide over the salvageable portion of the railing and a new plate to tap con into the landing and steps was the solution.
Turns out, solving problems is the best part of the blacksmith life. Helping someone achieve a goal in a way they didn't anticipate that looks good when done is very satisfying. A bit like social work without the nasty bits.
Problem solving blacksmithing is also the reason I am now on the The Association of Castor Canadensis Lodges hit list. More about that later.