Making It: Mother Trades Corporate Job to Sculpt Metal

MAKER: Elizabeth Meadows, of Huron

BUSINESS: Mother, Metal Sculptor

RAW MATERIALS: “I really like having pieces that I feel like I can do something with. Sometimes I find these pieces in scrap yards, sometimes I find them by the side of the road. They’re rusted and old and somebody threw them out. That’s what a lot of my pieces are --- they’re leftover pieces that don’t have a necessary use.”  

DO IT YOURSELF: “I wanted to be able to do all the steps in my own work. I really didn’t want to have to hire a welder to come in and do the work for me, so that I could be the artist who comes in, gives directions and has everybody else do the work. I like physically welding, I like getting dirty, and having sparks flying in your face.”

WHY METAL FLOWERS? “I want to see if I can make a certain shape.  I want to see if the metal can feel similar to how I think the petal would look.  I just want to have flowers the whole year around, and, since we’re in Ohio, slim chance of that.” 

SCARCITY OF WOMEN: “You know, working in metal, I’m always the only female.  I’m tough.  I bond with guys.  I have two older brothers and I have three sons, so I hang out with guys a lot. As time progresses, you would think that more women were working in fields that have been traditionally male dominated, and it’s still not really happening. I’m the only female I see walking into a welding supply store.”

GETTING BY: “If I did a number of shows every year, and I created enough work and had consignment galleries that I worked in, I could make a very tidy living, just not very good.  I’ve tried working in the corporate world and it’s not for me.  I’d much rather do this and raise my kids.  Right now, I’m spending more time raising kids than making a profit making flowers.”

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